Norway-Russia Barents Sea Joint Expedition


The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research's ecosystem voyage in the Barents Sea in 2018 with G.O. Sars: Anders Fuglevik, Erlend Langhelle, Irene Huse, Stine Karlsson, and Holly Ann Perryman sorts the catch from a demersal trawl. (Photo: Erlend Astad Lorentzen / The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research)

The research collaboration plays a key role in relations between countries. Currently, research vessels from Norway and Russia make their annual research cruise in the Barents Sea.

The joint voyage started on August 19, when the research vessel of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research G.O. Sars departed on a voyage with the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO).

Main tasks

The expedition aims to monitor the situation and changes in the environment and collect the statistics and information needed for consultative work and research, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research said.

All the data collected during the research expedition then will be sent to the Joint Norwegian-Russian Commission on Environmental Protection and the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission. A number of groups of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas will also receive the information.

History of cooperation

Since 1976 Norway and Russia have conducted annual fishery negotiations. During the negotiations, they set fish catching quotas. The information gathered through collaborative research plays a pivotal role in this process. The annual Norway-Russia voyage facilitates joint management of the ecosystem and fisheries resources in the Barents Sea.

The research expedition usually takes place over 30 days in the Russian and Norwegian territories. Norwegian and Russian researchers meet in March to speak about the path of the voyage, during which about three Norwegian ships and up to three Russian ships will simultaneously travel to the Barents Sea and use all possible measurement and collection practices.

If necessary and permission is granted, Norwegian vessels have the right to assist in the Russian zone and vice versa. The researchers also cooperate closely when analyzing the information collected.

The history of cooperation between Russia (at that time the USSR) and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research dates back to the 1950s.



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