The polar front is defined as the boundary in the Barents Sea which divides relatively warm, saline water masses of Atlantic origin and colder, fresher water masses of Arctic origin. This front is particularly distinct not only around Spitsbergen Bank and the Hopen Deep, but also around Central Bank and to some extent eastwards in the Barents Sea. Due to the physical characteristics and implications for biological activity, this area is identified as a particularly valuable and vulnerable area. This report summarises the physical characteristics of the front, and its variation in time and space. A summary is also presented of the biological activity in the polar front region and its value and vulnerability.
The report on the marginal ice zone covers the part of the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea where the marginal ice zone is present throughout all or part of the year. A brief summary is presented below based on findings and conclusions in the report. Production conditions, the prevalence of species, vulnerability to different types of impacts and how this varies both through the year and between years have implications as regards the extent to which the marginal ice zone is valuable and vulnerable.