Die Fische des Nord- und Südpolarmeeres
The fish faunas of the north and south polar regions show great differences. Whereas on the antarctic shelf most benthic fish species are endemic (they occur only here), the arctic waters are inhabited by immigrants or close relatives of species from the adjacent temperate seas. Most fish species of the polar regions have low growth and production rates. Their fecundity is low. Egg size is comparatively large. They attain sexual maturity at a late age. A few Antarctic fish species such as Patagonian and Antarctiv toothfish are exploited on a commercial scale since the end of the 1960ies. In the high arctic no commercial fishery currently takes place, but there are concerns that this might change in the future, if the ice coverage is further reduced, caused by global warming. However, any fishery in the polar regions can only be sustainable when enough knowledge about the biology of the fish stocks and the fragile marine environment exists and the precautionary approach is applied.