The surveillance service in the barents sea closure and opening of areas on real time basis
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The Surveillance Service in the Barents Sea – closure and opening of areas on real time basis. By Bjarne Schultz Senior Adviser DGFISH and RAC’s study tour to Tromsø, 20 – 22 June 2007. NORWAY: Population: 4,479 million Mainland: 323.810

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The Surveillance Service in the Barents Sea – closure and opening of areas on real time basis

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The Surveillance Service in the Barents Sea – closure and opening of areas on real time basis

By Bjarne Schultz Senior Adviser

DGFISH and RAC’s study tour to Tromsø, 20 – 22 June 2007


Population: 4,479 million

Mainland: 323.810

Svalbard: 62.700

Jan Mayen: 380

Mainland coastline: 21.347 km

Coastline of island 35.662 km

Total coastline: 57.009 km

Mainland EEZ: 968.700

Svalbard FPZ:804.000

Jan Mayen FZ:296.600

Fishery Protection Zone

around Spitsbergen

International waters


Fishery Zone

around Jan Mayen

Norway’s Economical Zone



Faeroe Islands



Atlantic Ocean


Great Britain

“Measures taking care of juveniles”

  • ”Toolbox” - what’s in it??

    • The Surveillance Service

    • Inspectors at sea

    • Gear Technology

    • The Coastguard

  • Temporarily closure and opening of areas

    • The Surveillance Service

  • Permanent closure of areas

Table of Contents

  • History

  • Goals

  • Organisation

  • Procedures closing and opening of areas

  • Field Work

  • Effect of closing and opening of areas

  • Future ambitions



  • January 1984

  • Temporarily Organisation

  • Coastal areas in northern part of Norway, The Barents Sea and Fishery Protection Zone around Spitzbergen

  • Increasing activity over time

  • Still the same basic principle as in January 1984

History cont.

  • The basic principe are that closing and opening of areas shall be based on scientific research

  • Vessel used shall be representative fore the group of vessels get in to touch with the decision

  • The Surveillance Service is an dynamic tool which take in to account the stock variations

  • Equal treatment - norwegian and foreign vessels



  • The activity in balance with national and international challenges

  • The biggest challenge is to create national and international legitimate fore the Surveillance Service’s job

  • High professional integrity is needed

Goals cont..

  • Why success;

    • The vessels are representative and have confidence in the industry

    • scientific methodology

    • closed areas are controlled in an acceptable time frame

    • equal treatment


The Surveillance Service today

  • Localized as an section in Region Troms

  • At the office - a Head of Section and one adviser

  • 17 inspectors

  • The Directorate of Fisheries - The Control Section

  • Budget (salaries, travelling, etc..) ca NOK 20 mill

The Surveillance Service today cont.

  • Hiring vessels - scientific quota as payment

  • The inspectors have knowledge as fishingskippers, mates or inspectors from the Coastguard

The Surveillance Service

  • Main duties

    • monitor intermixture of fish/shellfish under minimum size (trawl, danish seine, purse seine and longline)

    • monitor bycatch in the deep sea shrimp fishery

    • monitor bycatch in purse seine fisheries

  • Other duties

    • collecting samples for analysis of fish from the Barents Sea (nutrition)

Future challenges

  • ”Precautionary approach” and ”worst case”

  • Biological changes

  • Development of Gear Technology

    • Grid sorting systems

    • Square mesh

    • T 90

  • Flexibility in planning and use of manpower


  • Following vessels in 2007

    • 3 deep sea cod trawlers

    • 2 deep sea shrimp trawlers

    • 4 danish seiners (fly-draggers)

    • 2 express vessels (when needed)


Build: 2000, Loa: 57,3 m, HP 3900

Andenesfisk I

Build: 1996, Loa: 54,2 m, HP 3587


Build: 2001, Loa: 55,0 m, HP 5200


Build: 2001, Loa: 66,4 m, HP 7402


Build: 1996, Loa: 40,0 m, HP 2176


Build: 1988, Loa: 21,29 m, HP 653


Build: 2001, Loa: 27,43 m, HP 1020


Build: 1988, Loa: 21,75 m, HP 624


Build: 1969, Loa: 27,4 m, HP 575


Build: 1997 Loa: 18,00 m, HP 2x 800

Royal Wiking

Build: 1997, Loa: 15,3 m, HP 2x600

Procedures closure and opening of areas

Criteria for closing and opening of areas

  • Cod Fisheries (NEZ)

    • 15 % in number of intermixture of juveniles of cod, haddock and saithe

  • Cod Fisheries (Fishery Protection Zone around Spitzbergen)

    • 15 % in number of intermixture of juveniles of cod and haddock

  • Deep Sea Shrimps Fisheries (both NEZ and Fishery Protection Zone around Spitzbergen)

    • 10% in weight of intermixture of juveniles (Pandalus)

    • Bycatch

      • Cod; 8 pr. 10 kg of shrimps

      • Haddock; 20 pr. 10 kg of shrimps

      • Greenland Halibut; 3 pr. 10 kg of shrimps

      • Redfish; 3 pr. 10 kg of shrimps

Frames for closure and opening of areas

  • Common guidelines between Norway and Russia regarding closure and opening of areas for demersal species and shrimps (pandalus)

  • The legal basis fore closure and opening of areas is in the Salt Water Act, § 4

Procedures ”step by step”

  • ”Mapping” of species and size distribution

  • Continuously information from the inspectors to the staff at the office

  • Similar information from the Coastguard

  • Sufficient information - the unit propose to the Director General an area fore closing or opening

Procedures ”step by step” cont..

  • Closure or opening - come in to force

    • norwegian vessels...2-4 hours

    • foreign vessels…. Time of notice 7 days

      • The Coastguard parallelly request vessels do not to fish in the closed area or inform about the opening of an area

Closed Areas 02.04.2007

Closed Areas Deep Sea Trawling and Danish Seine fore cod, Spring 2007

Closed Ares fore Danish Seine 02.05.07

Statistics - Closure and opening of areas

Data Collection 2006

The Surveillance Service

Data to the Institute of Marine Research (IMR)

  • Electronically measuring of the fish length

  • Collected information to IMR

  • Collected data into IMR’s database used for assessment

  • Status as commercial data in the assessment work

Number of stations distributed on gear type

Number of fish measured distribution by gear types

All Stations 2006

All Stations 1. quarter

All Stations 2.quarter

All Stations 3.quarter

All Stations 4.quarter

Cod Fisheries 2006

Cod Fisheries 1.quarter

Cod Fisheries 2.quarter

Cod Fisheries 3.quarter

Cod Fisheries 4.quarter

Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries 2006

Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries 1. quarter

Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries 2. quarter

Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries 3. quarter

Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries 4. quarter

Danish Seine 2006

Danish Seine 1.quarter

Danish Seine 2.quarter

Danish Seine 3.quarter

Danish Seine 4.quarter

Purse Seine Saithe 2006

Purse Seine Saithe, 2.quarter

Longline Stations 2006

Longline Stations, 1.quarter

Longline Stations, 3.quarter

Longline Stations, 4.quarter

Effect of closure of areas

Some experience from different regulation measures in the shrimp fishery – sorting grid and temporary area closures

Bycatch ( =discards) of redfish in the shrimp fishery. Note the immediate effect of the introduction of sorting grid in 1992. Less redfish caught during 1993-2002 is also influenced by poor redfish recruitment.

Cod north of 69 N.

Estimated total bycatch (all discarded) of cod < 26 cm raised to total international shrimp catch in the Barents Sea/Svalbard areas 1983-2005. Note the peak in 1998 which occurred despite the use of sorting grid. This tells that temporarily closure of areas are necessary in addition.

Future ambitions

Future goals

  • Contribute to increase the value in the fishing industry

    • the level of activity should not be reduced

  • The Surveillance Service have to be dynamic and cost-effective

  • Give the industry predictable frames

Future goals cont...

  • Main issue; best possible monitoring of stocks and sustainable harvesting

  • Cost-effective use of personnel

  • Better information to the community

    • active use of Internet

    • transparency on collected data and information used for closure and opening areas

Use of Internet


  • We are now testing to put all information regarding closure and opening of areas on real time basis to our website

  • Philosophy – make all information used fore closure and opening of areas available for the industry, media etc…

  • Key Word – full transparency

Inspectors at sea

Inspectors at sea

  • The Barents Sea

    • cod, haddock, saithe, redfish and Greenland halibut

  • The North Sea

    • mackerel

  • Discard and dumping

  • Number of inspectors; 4 man-year

  • Pool of people together with the Surveillance Service


Gear Technology- Use of Grid Sorting Systems

“Measures taking care of juveniles”

  • Legal frames

    • …”not aloud to fish undersized fish”….

    • …”not aloud to discard”…..

  • Selective fishing gear

    • mesh sizes

    • net types

    • grid sorting systems

    • attachment to nets


  • An idea that mesh size was enough to have a selective gear

  • Use of attachment to nets as round straps, chafers etc. Legislation's on how this attachments have to be used

  • Experience that size of vessel, enginepower, towing speed, materials in net and codends etc. effect negatively on the mesh size

What could be done?????

  • Looking for separating systems

  • Different type of nets in the trawls belly and codend

  • Net types

  • Grid sorting systems

Deep Sea Shrimp Fishery

  • In the seventies and eighties lot of work done by testing different type of sorting net systems

  • 1993 the grid sorting system into use (Closed areas from 1989)

  • Very effectful

  • Today - the priciple globally used

Grid sorting system in Deep Sea Shrimp Fisheries

Deep Sea Cod Fishery

  • Experience from shrimpfisheries transferred to whitefish sector

  • Key element was to experience that a rigid sorting system could be used in a flexible fishing gear

  • Works starts in 1990 and grid sorting systems taken in to use from 1994

  • Today both grid sorting and use of mesh size

Grid Sorting System in cod fisheries

Grid Sorting System in cod fisheries

Grid Sorting System in cod fisheries


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