The Barents Sea ecosystem has been strongly influenced by fishing and the hunting of marine mammals. More recently, human activities include transportation of goods, oil and gas, tourism, and aquaculture. In recent years interest has focused on the likely response of the Barents Sea ecosystem to future climate change and ocean acidification. Retreating ice edges are opening new grounds for trawling and for transport routes. Activities in some of these newly-opened grounds may affect benthic communities that were previously protected by ice cover.