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Blog Tags: Arctic Invasive Species

Arctic Shipping to Open Pathways for Invasive Species

The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is a freshwater invasive species.

The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), pictured here, is a freshwater invasive species likely introduced to the U.S. from ballast water. (Photo: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory / Flickr Creative Commons)

For years, commercial ships had  two main pathways to easily traverse the globe: the Panama and Suez Canals. Now, after 30 years of unprecedented sea ice melt in the Arctic, the northern Atlantic and Pacific are connected for the first time in 2 million years. That means Arctic shipping is an option, and it’s certainly an appealing one: The routes are faster, ships need less fuel, and piracy isn’t a threat.

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