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Marine Ecosystem - Barents Sea

Overview | Bering Sea | Barents Sea | Greenland

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The Barents Sea is the continental shelf north of the Scandanavian peninsula. Cod stocks in the Barents Sea are influenced both by fishing and by climate. The production or recruitment of cod (bars in top figure, below), is thought to be related to the flow of warm water into the Barents sea from the North Atlantic Ocean. A recruitment increase occurred in the mid-1970s and 1990s, when there were warm ocean temperatures north of Scandanavia (the Kola Peninsula), shown by the red curve in the middle figure below. Capelin are a food source for cod and whales. Capelin biomass shows large variability over the last twenty-five years. Herring shows changes on decadal scales, reflecting both climate and fishing impacts.

Arctic cod recruitment

Group of Arctic Cod resting in an ice gap. Photo by Gradinger & Bluhm, from University of Alaska Fairbanks

     
Provided by Harald Loeng, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway    


 
Annual Temperature anomaly (from 1961-1990 mean) for Kola and Station 27. (Kola Section off northwestern Russia, 0-200 m mean) and the Labrador Sea (Station 27 on the western Grand Bank off eastern Canada, near bottom at 175 m). Temperatures are expressed as anomalies, i.e., differences from their 1961-1990 means. Kola data from the Institute of Marine Research, Norway. Station27 data from Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.


 
Trends for stocks of northeast Arctic capelin and Norwegian spring-spawning herring. Data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea website. Also see Statistics Norway.

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