The deep sea shrimp (Pandalus borealis, also called deepwater shrimp or Northern shrimp) are distributed in most deep waters of the Barents Sea and Spitsbergen. The densest concentrations are found in the central region of the Barents Sea, Hopen Deep, Thor Iversen Bank and near the western Murman coast at depths from 200 to 350 meters. Regular fishery for the Northern shrimp in the Barents Sea and Spitsbergen area has been conducted since 1950’s. Russia has been harvesting the shrimp stock since 1976. Maximum catches were reached in the mid-1980’s, as well as in 1990-1991 and 2000.
These shrimp feed mainly on detritus, but may also scavenge. They are an important food item for seals, and for many fish species, including cod, greenland halibut, and redfish.
At the international level, no quota allocation is applied to the fishery for the Northern shrimp in the Barents Sea. In economic zone of Russia the shrimp fishing are regulated by the TAC. Fishing for the shrimp in the Barents Sea and Spitsbergen area is permitted by trawls having a mesh size of not less than 35 mm with mandatory use of a selective grid (19 mm space between the bars). By-catch of juvenile cod, redfish and Greenland halibut in the shrimp fishery shall not exceed 800, 1000 and 300 individuals per 1 tonne of the shrimp, respectively.