Ecosystem overviews

Barents Sea Ecoregion

Pressure: Abrasion

Vessel monitoring system (VMS)-based maps show that the most widespread gears used in the central Barents Sea are bottom trawl and lines. 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 35000 km2 of the Barents Sea in 2013, corresponding to ca. 1.6% of the ecoregion’s spatial extent.​ The proportion of swept seafloor increased by ca. 1% from 2009 until 2013. The pressure is mainly concentrated close to the coastline and in the central Barents Sea.


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 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. 

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.


Surface and subsurface abrasion pressure expressed as the swept-area ratio from VMS data from 2013 in the Barents Sea ICES ecoregion. Russian fishing effort is not included (ICES, 2015b).​ Click to enlarge image.​​


Other pressures in the Barents Sea

Selective extraction of species

Introduction of contaminating compounds

Potential pressures arising from increased anthropogenic activity

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Barents Sea Ecoregion

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