Increasing anthropogenic activities in the Arctic pose the risk for accidental oil spills but our knowledge of ecotoxicological effects is still limited for Arctic organisms. This study aimed to provide insights in baseline levels of antioxidants in polar cod (Boreogadus saida) from different Arctic locations and investigate the susceptibility of this species to oxidative stress during a 32 day dietary crude oil exposure. Baseline levels of individual antioxidants and total oxyradical scavenging capacity (TOSC) varied among different Arctic fjords. Upon crude oil exposure, dose- and time-dependent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) biotransformation was evident through hepatic ethoxyresorufine-O-deethylase activity, glutathione S-transferase mRNA expression and biliary PAH metabolites. Changes in the activity of individual antioxidants and TOSC was, however, slight and transient upon exposure. In conclusion, biotransformation was clearly induced by the sub-lethal levels of crude oil in polar cod, while the antioxidant defense responded with high variability.