The demersal fisheries are mixed, especially regarding cod and haddock. Usually the vessels are given specific quotas on cod and haddock. Even though discarding is illegal, when the quota of one of the species is taken there may be discarding of this species until the quota of the other species is taken.
The fisheries are regulated by minimum length and mesh size. At present there are different national regulations in Russia and Norway. However, there is now an ongoing work on harmonizing minimum length and mesh size used by Russian and Norwegian fishing vessels.
Bycatches of other species occur, especially redfish and, in the Norwegian cod fishery, coastal cod. These stocks are in poor condition and the bycatch may therefore have an important impact on the stock development. In the Norwegian cod fishery, several measures have been introduced to avoid bycatch of coastal cod, such as time and area closures, gear restrictions in coastal and fjord areas (use of trawl or Danish seine prohibited).
There are some reports of bycatches of marine mammals and seabirds in fishing nets. Further, seabirds have been taken as bycatch in the longline fishery. Devises for scaring away the birds when setting the longline have been developed and taken into use. This type of fisheries made impact on the ecosystem has not been quantified.
In general, there are many regulations and restrictions imposed by Russia and Norway in the fishery in order to reduce the negative impact of the fisheries in the Barents Sea. In order to make these regulations relevant, however, a strong and efficient control system must exist, both at sea and also when the catches are landed. This is imperative for reducing the impact on the ecosystem of the above mentioned elements.