The Shtokman license area (Figure 4.3.14a) has been monitored by MMBI from 2002-2007. The location is deeper that 300m in the eastern Barents Sea. The relief of the sea bottom is monotonous, together with monotonous sediment and benthic communities (Denisenko, 1996, Pavlidis, 1995, Frolova et al, 2004). At present, pollution of the near bottom waters and sediments of this area is insignificant (Ivanov, 2003). Furthermore strong disturbance of sea floor by fish trawling was not recorded in this area (Aibulatov et al 2005).
The Kola section (Figure 4.3.14a and b) are located in the western part of the Barents Sea on 33˚30′ E. It intersects waters of the Murman coastal current (69˚30′-70˚30′ N), and the Murman (70˚30′-72˚30′ N) and Central (73˚00′-74˚00′ N) branches of the North Cape Current (Tereshchenko, 1997). Many stations on this section are deeper than 200 m.
The first benthic investigations at the Kola section were made as early as in the 1930s (Derjugin 1933) which make this study a base line for long-term zoobenthos monitoring (Nesis 1960, Denisenko 1997, 2005).
The fluctuation in the benthic community (taken by grab) over time at the two monitoring areas have shown small fluctuations on the Kola section while comparatively larger fluctuations on the Shtokman area (Figure 4.3.14b). The two monitoring areas have the same type of biocenosis dominated by the polychaeta Spiochaetopterus typicus. The mean biomass on the Kola section is two times lower than the mean biomass on the Shtokman area. This fact might be explained by the difference in temperature but also by the fact that the Kola section are more strongly influence from the bottom trawling fishery than the Shtokman area.
The mean biomass value over time at the Shtokman area is slightly negative. But in generally the current situation on both monitoring areas might be described as a moderate stable state.