The Barents Sea has internationally been identified as a single large marine ecosystem (LME). The scientific basis from this project will therefore also contribute to the whole Barents Sea ecosystem being a consideration when the two countries further develop ecosystem based management in their respective parts of the sea area.
Developing an ecosystem-based management plan requires broad information about the various components and dynamics of the system as well as information about how the ecosystem may be affected anthropogenic activities. Therefore, this report gives a basic description of the major ecosystem components and their dynamics for the Barents Sea, including the physical environment. It also gives a description of human activities and discusses impact of these activities on the ecosystem. The status of major components of the ecosystem is described using the most recent data. In addition, some aspects of long-term change are discussed. Finally, examples of important issues relevant to the development of ecosystem-based management are highlighted. It should be emphasised that although core issues are highlighted, no attempt is made to give a complete list of relevant themes, but rather to point to possible directions of future work relating to ecosystem-based management for the Barents Sea.