Arctic marine ecosystems are changing, one aspect of which appears to be distributional expansions of sub-arctic species. For Arctic marine systems, there is limited occurrence information for many species, especially those found in restricted habitats (e.g., ice-covered, far north, or deep-water). Increasing observations through on-going Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) community-based monitoring programs (e.g., Arctic Coast, Cambridge Bay Arctic Char stock assessment, Arctic Salmon, and Kugluktuk coastal surveys), community observation networks, and local media have augmented opportunities to document new occurrences of marine fishes. Combined data from historical records and contemporary observations at the local scale can then delineate these among three types of occurrences: gradual distributional expansion, episodic vagrants, and rare endemics. Here we document nine occurrences of unusual sightings across six fish species (Pink Salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha , Bering Wolffish Anarhichas orientalis , Greenland Shark Somniosus microcephalus , Broad Whitefish Coregonus nasus , Banded Gunnel Pholis fasciata and Salmon Shark Lamna ditropis ) from six northern Canadian communities and classify the nature of each observation as rare, vagrant, or expanding distributions. Uniting scientific and local observations represents a novel approach to monitor distributional changes suitable for a geographically large but sparsely populated area such as the Canadian Arctic. The new occurrences are important for discerning the potential effects of the presence of these species in Arctic ecosystems. These observations more broadly will build on our understanding of northern biodiversity change associated with warming Arctic environments.