Shipping is an extensively international industry. Therefore, global legislations, conventions, and standards which regulate shipping are desirable and play an important role to harmonize the regulations across nations. Major international organisations which contribute to regulations are: IMO (International Maritime Organisation), ILO (the UN’s international workers organisation), and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency). Regional initiatives are also helpful, such as the
International agreements and conventions, both globally and regionally, are of major importance to control and reduce pollution of the Barents Sea. These agreements include regulation of activities and restrictions or bans on use of hazardous substances. One of the most important is the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both Norway and Russia have adopted. It entered into force in 1994 and lays down fundamental international rules for all
Fisheries and other harvesting are drivers that have major impact on the Barents Sea ecosystem. These activities have a long history dating back to the early 17th century when large scale whaling activity started. In centuries which followed, whaling and other hunting led to the near extinction of several whale stocks and other marine mammals such as bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), and walruses (Odobenus rosmarius).