Ringed seal (Pusa hispida or Phoca hispida). Photo: Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Norwegian Polar Institute

Marine Mammals

The summer abundance of minke whales in the Barents Sea has recently increased from a stable level of about 40,000 animals to more than 70,000 animals. Also, humpback whale have increased their summer abundance in the Barents Sea from a low level prior to year 2000 to about 4,000 animals thereafter. The other cetacean populations have remained stable in numbers. In 2018, 2119 individuals of nine species of marine mammals were sighted during the Barents Sea Ecosystem Survey (BESS) in August-October 2018, as well as an additional 77 individuals which were not identified to species.
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