Tourism at Svalbard. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

According to the decree of the Murmansk regional government from December 25, 2013 № 768-PP / 20 "On the Strategy of socio-economic development of the Murmansk region till 2020 and for the period up to 2025", the role of tourism in economic and socio-cultural development of the region should be increased. The cruise tourism is recognized as a key area for further development. In order to develop the infrastructure to ensure regular and marine passenger transport, the investment project "Arctic harbor" will be implemented.

Drilling plattform in the Stockman field, Barents Sea. Photo: Gazprom

The Barents Sea is split by a natural geological border along the midline between Norway and Russia. This border separates a number of enormous gas fields identified on the Russian side from modest discoveries on the Norwegian side.Oil and gas exploration in the Barents Sea has developed slowly due to the costs and political risks involved. Approximately 0.3 billion Sm3 o.e. (standard cubic meters of oil equivalents) of extractable oil have been identified on the Norwegian side mainly as gas, with an estimated 1 billion m3 unidentified.

Maritime transport ship. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

A wide range of shipping activities take place throughout the Barents Sea, involving merchant vessels, cruise ships, research and fishing vessels, ice-breakers, and naval and coast-guard vessels. Industries involved include ports and harbors, passenger transport, tourism, and offshore petroleum and mining operations. Shipping of oil and gas (and other hazardous cargo) was relatively stable with approximately 250 vessel transits per year between 2005 and 2008 (Stiansen et al., 2009).

Fishing boat in the Barents Sea. Photo:

Harvested demersal stocks in the Barents Sea and adjacent waters (ICES areas I and II) include cod, haddock, saithe, and shrimp. In addition, redfish, Greenland halibut, anglerfish, wolffish, and flatfishes (e.g. long rough dab, plaice) are common on the shelf and at the continental slope, and ling and tusk at the slope and in deeper waters. In 2012, catches of about 1,300 thousand tonnes are reported from the stocks of cod, haddock, saithe, redfish, Greenland halibut and anglerfish.