Norway revises sea management plans to protect marine life from oil and gas activity

The new plans propose a boundary shift of oil and gas activities southwardly in the Barents Sea, away from the biologically rich ocean areas in the Arctic

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Norway is revising its sea management plans to protect biologically rich ocean areas to reduce the impact of industrial activities on its marine ecosystem.

The Barents Sea-Lofoten area, the Norwegian Sea and Skagerrak will be demarcated into a revised area for petroleum activities – the revised plans propose a boundary shift of oil and gas activities southwardly in the Barents Sea, away from the biologically rich ocean areas in the Arctic, in the hope of providing stronger protection to vulnerable species in marginal ice zones.

Climate change has already resulted in rising sea temperatures, shrinking ice cover and ecological damage to the Norwegian marine cover.

Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solber, said: “We will make use of our marine resources and at the same time take steps to protect the environment. The management plans we are presenting today are designed to safeguard the environment while also providing a framework for fisheries, shipping, petroleum activities and other important industries.

“The plans provide a basis for integrated marine management and for maintaining a sustainable ocean economy.”

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