11.1 Assessment of measures for integrated ecosystem-based management
Implementation of the management plan
An expert group will be appointed to follow up the implementation
of the management plan for the Norwegian Sea (the Forum for Integrated
Management of the Norwegian Sea). The terms of reference of the
Advisory Group on Monitoring of the Barents Sea and the Forum on
Environmental Risk Management will be expanded to include the Norwegian
Sea and the North Sea. This will improve the coordination and provide
a better foundation for management of the Norwegian Sea. It will
also involve more work for the directorates and institutes concerned.
In addition, the terms of reference of the Reference Group established
for the Barents Sea–Lofoten area are to be expanded to include
the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea, which will also involve more
work. The volume of work for these groups will vary over time, but
will always be larger in connection with the scheduled reports.
These efforts will be part of the established administrative framework
and a continuation of existing activity. Thus the additional work
is not expected to have financial consequences of any significance.
Integrated monitoring system for the Norwegian Sea
The costs relating to the development of a system for monitoring
the state of the ecosystem in the Norwegian Sea, based on the integrated
monitoring system for the Barents Sea–Lofoten area, will be
studied in more detail in connection with the annual budget proposals.
A great deal of the work of developing the monitoring system will
take place within the framework of the research and monitoring already
being conducted in the management plan area. Since it will be necessary
to monitor a larger number of indicators across a larger geographical
area, more funding will be required, and this question will be reviewed
in connection with the annual budget proposals.
The Government will seek to systematise and improve knowledge
about the Norwegian Sea by continuing the MAREANO programme. Areas
that provide particularly valuable ecological goods and services,
or where such goods and services are particularly vulnerable, will
be identified and mapped. Surveys of the seabed will be necessary in
order to develop cost-effective tools that will ensure the sustainable
use of such areas.
Conducting surveys properly is expensive. The MAREANO programme
in the Barents Sea–Lofoten area is costing NOK 51.5 million
in 2009. The Government will consider the annual allocations for
continuation of the programme in connection with the annual budget
The Government will continue the SEAPOP programme in the Norwegian
Sea, and the costs relating to continuing the programme at the current
level of activity will be met within the existing budget framework.
Climate change and ocean acidification – knowledge
More funding will be required to meet the Government’s
goal of improving knowledge on climate change and ocean acidification.
The Government will consider the allocations for knowledge development
in connection with the annual budget proposals.
Protection of coral reefs and other habitats
Corals require special protection since they form vulnerable
habitats and are important components of ecosystems. This makes
it necessary to restrict bottom trawling, which can damage vulnerable habitats
on the seabed. Protecting coral reefs will be profitable in the
long term because it will protect areas that are important for marine
biodiversity and as spawning and nursery areas for commercial fish
Restricting bottom trawling in areas that have not previously
been trawled until seabed surveys have been carried out may have
economic consequences for the fisheries, since fishermen will be unable
to operate freely in all areas when using trawls and other bottom
gear. It is difficult to calculate or estimate the costs of imposing
restrictions on bottom trawling in such areas, but it is likely that
there will be a temporary loss of income for fisheries using these
specific areas. However, such losses could probably be compensated
by fishing in other areas.
Framework for petroleum activities
A framework for petroleum activities in particularly valuable
and vulnerable areas has been proposed, including spatial restrictions
on activities up to 2014, when the management plan will be updated.
In some parts of the management plan area, restrictions on when
drilling is permitted have been introduced to take account of vulnerable natural
resources such as spawning fish or nesting seabirds. The proposal
is based on a precautionary approach to protection of areas of particular
The proposed framework could result in loss of revenues from
petroleum activities, since any resources present cannot be extracted
from areas where no activities are to be started. However, since
the resource potential of the areas concerned is not known, it is
extremely difficult to estimate the extent of such losses.
Discharges to the sea from petroleum activities
On the basis of a report submitted by the Norwegian Pollution
Control Authority, the Petroleum Directorate and the Norwegian Radiation
Protection Authority that evaluated the environmental and social
costs and benefits of zero discharges, the Government will not introduce
general requirements for zero discharges of produced water and/or
drill cuttings and drilling mud, but will include technologically
enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) in the zero-discharge
targets. In areas where the benthic fauna is vulnerable or that
are key spawning areas for bottom-spawning fish, operators will
be required to use technology for dealing with drill cuttings and
drilling mud that will prevent sediment deposition. Requirements
concerning releases may be revised as new information and more advanced
technology become available. Adaptations to new requirements will
increase costs to an extent that will vary from field to field.
Prevention of acute pollution from maritime transport
Implementing the measures proposed in the management plan will
offset the higher risk of acute pollution represented by the increase
in maritime traffic in the management plan area. This will reduce
environmental risks and on-scene clean-up costs, and will safeguard
Norway’s reputation as a supplier of safe seafood.
The costs of several of these measures will be mainly related
to personnel resources in ministries and subordinate agencies. Training
courses, exercises, technological development, international cooperation
and following up the report on governmental oil spill response equipment
(current status and recommendations for renewal and upgrade up to
2010) will involve additional costs. The Government will consider
allocations for this purpose in connection with the annual budget
Costs will be incurred in connection with the introduction of
routeing and traffic separation schemes. Such schemes may also result
in higher costs for the shipping and other industries if ships have
to follow a longer route along the Norwegian coast.