Vessel monitoring system (VMS)-based maps show that the most widespread gears used in the central Barents Sea are bottom trawl and lines (Figures 4–6). Bottom trawling produces abrasion on the seafloor.
Using VMS and logbook data it has been estimated that mobile bottom trawling techniques used by commercial fisheries in the 12 m+ vessel category have been deployed over approximately 91 010 km2 of the Barents Sea in 2018, corresponding to ca. 4.3% of the ecoregion's spatial extent (Figure 6). This figure excludes Russian fishing effort. The pressure is mainly concentrated close to the coastline and in the central Barents Sea.
Figure 4: Location of Russian fishing activity in all waters, and of non-Russian fishing activity within the Russian EEZ in 2014 as reported (VMS) to Russian authorities. Click image to enlarge.
Figure 5: Location of Norwegian fishing activity in all waters, and non-Norwegian fishing activity within the Norwegian EEZ as reported (VMS) to Norwegian authorities. Click image to enlarge.
Figure 6: Surface and subsurface abrasion pressure expressed as the swept-area ratio from VMS data from 2014-2017 in the Barents Sea ICES ecoregion. Russian fishing effort is not included (ICES, 2019).