The Norwegian plan for integrated ecosystem-based management of the marine environment in the Norwegian Sea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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A White Paper on a new integrated management plan for the Norwegian Sea was launched by the Norwegian government in May 2009. Following international guidelines for ecosystem-based management, the plan provides an overall framework for managing all human activities (mainly oil and gas industry, fishing, and shipping) in the area to ensure the continued production and function of the ecosystem. The plan is based on an assessment of the present and projected future impact of human activities and of the interactions between them, taking into account deficits in current knowledge of ecosystem state and dynamics. Areas of particular value in terms of biodiversity or biological production were identified. In each of these valuable areas, any access for substantial human activity is to be carefully managed. To monitor the overall development of the Norwegian Sea, a set of indicators with associated environmental quality objectives have been selected. The approach used builds upon experience gained from the first integrated Norwegian management plan for a marine area, the Barents Sea–Lofoten region, developed in 2002–2006. Work towards a Norwegian management plan for the North Sea, including Skagerrak, was initiated in 2009.