Polar bears, seven pinniped species and five cetacean species reside full-time in the Barents Sea region. Eight additional whale species are regular seasonal migrants that come into the Barents Sea to take advantage of the seasonal, summer-time peak in productivity as the ice retreats northward.
Seal species distribution
Whale species distribution
Three additional dolphin species are occasionally observed in the southern Barents Sea and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) have been observed north of 79° off the west coast of Spitsbergen, but are still considered rare north of the Norwegian Sea, despite increasing numbers of sightings in Svalbard and elsewhere in the region. The marine mammal community of the Barents Sea and adjacent northern waters represents a vast range of body sizes, from the ringed seal (1.3 m, 60 kg) up to the blue whale (24 m, 100,000+ kg), and displays concomitant variance in life-history strategies and ecology.