Report No. 37 to the Storting (2008-2009)

Integrated Management of the Marine Environment of the Norwegian Sea— Report No. 37 (2008 – 2009) to the Storting

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2 Elements of the monitoring system for environmental quality

Table 2.1 Proposed set of indicators with reference values and action thresholds

IndicatorReference valueAction threshold
Ocean climate
Temperature, salinity and nutrients along fixed transectsSummer and winter averages, last 10 years
Transport of Atlantic water into Norwegian Sea-»-
Timing of spring bloom with reference to data from weather observation station MAverage value over last 10 years
Phytoplankton biomass expressed as quantity of chlorophyll a-»-
Zooplankton biomass in the Norwegian SeaAverage value over last 10 years
Species diversity along fixed transectsHistorical data
Population estimate for Calanus finmarchicusAverage value over last 10 years
Fish stocks
Spawning stock of Norwegian spring-spawning herringPrecautionary reference pointEstimated spawning stock is below precautionary reference point
Spawning stock of blue whiting-»--»-
Spawning stock of North-East Arctic saithe-»--»-
Longline catches of ling and tuskAverage catch per unit effort for each species, 2000–2005To be developed
Spawning stocks of fish stocks that are being restored to sustainable levelsPrecautionary reference point*Estimated spawning stock is below precautionary reference point
Marine mammals
Spatial distribution of whale communitiesAverage population numbers for last 10 years + historical dataUnexpected decrease of more than 20 % in minke whale population over 5-year period
Population trend for hooded sealAverage for last 10 yearsUnexpected decrease of more than 10 % in the population over 5-year period
Bycatch of common porpoise, VestfjordenAverage for first 5 years of time seriesAnnual porpoise bycatch exceeds average value for first 5 years of time series (start 2005)
Spatial distribution of seabird communitiesAverage for last 10 years + historical dataPopulation decrease of 20 % or more in 5 years or deviation of more than 10 % from expected distribution
Population trend for kittiwakeAverage for last 10 years + historical dataPopulation decrease of 20 % or more in 5 years, or deviation of more than 10 % from expected adult survival rate, or failed breeding 5 years in a row
Population trend for common guillemot-»--»-
Population trend for puffin-»--»-
Population trend for common eider-»--»-
Population trend for shag-»--»-
Benthic communities and habitats
Status of selected vulnerable habitatsStatus of known habitatsSignificant change
Vulnerable and endangered species
Vulnerable and endangered species and species for which Norway has special responsibilityViable population level and historical data on population levelsPopulation of selected species is below the level considered to be viable
Alien species
Records of alien speciesHistorical dataAlien species recorded during monitoring or risk of introduction of alien species
Pollutants (see Appendix 3)
Atmospheric inputsNatural background levelSteady rise in pollutant concentrations continuing for specified number of years, or sudden large rise from one sample to the next in an area
Radioactivity in seawaterNatural background level-»-
Ocean acidification**Summer and winter averages, last 10 years-»-
Pollutants in blue whitingNatural background level-»-
Pollutants in coastal cod-»--»-
Pollutants in Norwegian spring-spawning herring-»--»-
Pollutants in Greenland halibut-»--»-
Pollutants in tusk-»--»-
Pollutants in hooded seal-»--»-
Pollutants in shag eggs-»--»-
Pollutants in shrimps-»--»-
Pollutants in mussels-»--»-
Pollutants in sediment-»--»-
Metals and radioactivity in seaweed-»--»-
Pollution from petroleum activities (under development)-»--»-
Pollution from ships (under development)-»-Under development
Litter along the shorelineNo litterUnacceptable amounts of litter on shoreline

* Precautionary reference points must be determined for species for which they are not available at present.

** As shown by measurements of pH, total alkalinity and temperature.

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