The commercial fisheries in the Barents Sea Ecoregion target few stocks. The largest pelagic fishery targets capelin using midwater trawl. The largest demersal fisheries target cod, haddock, and other gadoids; predominantly using trawls, gillnets, longlines, and handlines. The crustacean fisheries target deep-sea prawn, red king crab, and snow crab. Most catches of crabs are from coastal areas. Harp seals and minke whales are also hunted in the region. Fisheries overview in the Barents Sea is available on https://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2019/2019/FisheriesOverview_BarentsSea_2019.pdf
Fisheries and other harvesting 2019
Management of the minke whale is based on the Revised Management Procedure (RMP) developed by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. Inputs to this procedure are catch statistics and absolute abundance estimates.
Shipping statistics include both fishing vessels and other. The vessels excluding fishing vessels, cover less distance than in other ocean regions, but the traffic is increasing every year (Figure 18.104.22.168).
Anthropogenic litter were observed at every fourth (pelagic) and every second (bottom) station, and plastic dominated among all observations. Amounts of plastic and other litter are relatively low in comparison to other sea areas.
Fishing activity in the Barents Sea is tracked by the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). Figures 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 show fishing activity in 2017-2019 based on Russian and Norwegian data. VMS data offer valuable information about temporal and spatial changes in fishing activity.
It is increased activities for searching, test drilling and developing the oil- and gas production in the Barents Sea. In recent years the search for valuable locations has increased and moved further eastward (Figures 188.8.131.52-184.108.40.206).
Levels of contaminants in fish from the Barents Sea are in general relatively low and below EU and Norway’s maximum levels set for food safety. For most substances, concentrations are stable or slightly decreasing.