Aktiver Javascript i din nettleser for en bedre opplevelse på regjeringen.no

Historisk arkiv

New Monitoring of the Marine Environment in the North

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Stoltenberg II

Utgiver: Miljøverndepartementet

The Government will establish a new and more coordinated system for monitoring the marine ecosystems in the north. This initiative is a part of the Integrated Management Plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten, which calls for more knowledge about these marine areas.

Press Release

Date: 2006.31.03

New Monitoring of the Marine Environment in the North

The Government will establish a new and more coordinated system for monitoring the marine ecosystems in the north. This initiative is a part of the Integrated Management Plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten, which calls for more knowledge about these marine areas.

- The gathering of more knowledge will be a fundamental part of our efforts to establish a management of the Barents Sea that safeguards the marine ecosystems, says Minister of Environment Helen Bjørnøy.

As the Ministry in charge of the Integrated Management Plan, the Ministry of Environment will coordinate its follow-up. Ministries in charge of relevant sector policies will still be responsible for carrying out activities under the Plan. Analysis and recommendations for further action must build on a holistic approach, based on solid scientific knowledge.

The Government will establish an advisory group on the monitoring of the Barents Sea, led by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. A Forum for cooperation on environmental risks associated with acute oil spills at sea is to be led by the Norwegian Coast Guard. A scientific forum responsible for the follow-up and coordination of the scientific work is to be led by the Norwegian Polar Research Institute. In addition, a reference group will be established to continue work on the ecosystem-based management of the Barents Sea.

Building up knowledge, especially through monitoring, is an important part of being able to assess the quality of the ecosystems in the area in a better way.

- More coordinated monitoring will give us a better opportunity to follow developments in the state of the marine environment in a cross-sectoral perspective, says Minister of Environment Helen Bjørnøy. With an expected increase in activities in the area, it is important to have updated knowledge about changes in the environment, she says.

The new monitoring system will ensure a more systematic assessment of the ecosystems than today. The system will include a more thorough monitoring of pollution levels. The system will also give important documentation of the quality of Norwegian seafood. The Government will also strengthen research on this marine area through a more strategic approach to the different programme areas under the Norwegian Research Council. This work will be seen in relation to the Government’s initiative Barents 2020 and our research cooperation with Russia.

The Integrated Management Plan also opens up for better mapping. An important part of this work will be in the form of increased efforts within the MAREANO programme. We will work to ensure that this programme will map the seabed and its biological, physical and chemical environment in the southern parts of the Barents Sea from Lofoten until the Russian border within 2010. We will also contribute to a strengthening of the knowledge base on seabird populations through the seabird programme SEAPOP, so that the sectors that influence the marine environment – and thereby the seabirds - get a better foundation for carrying out measures, says the Minister of Environment.

The White Paper on the Integrated Management Plan also contains plans for carrying out a general assessment of hazardous substances that pose a threat to the ecosystem, and for the continued assessment of these types of risks in the area.

Joint reports on the management of the sea areas will be issued at regular intervals, the first time in 2010. The need for further policy actions will be considered on the basis of these reports. The Plan will be subject to a thorough update in 2020. The new knowledge will feed into Norway’s platform in future discussions on environment and natural resources in the High North. It will also be an important contribution to the work that is taking place under international environmental agreements.

See the map Integrated Management of the Marine Environment of the Barents Sea and the Sea Areas off Lofoten (pdf)

The ministers presentation (pdf – 1,4 MB)

Til toppen