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The MAREANO programme

MAREANO maps depth and topography, sediment composition, biodiversity, habitats and biotopes as well as pollution in the seabed in Norwegian coastal and offshore regions. The Institute of Marine Research, the Geological Survey of Norway and the Norwegian Hydrographic Service comprise the Executive Working Group which is responsible for carrying out the MAREANO field sampling and other practical tasks. The overall aim of the programme is to conduct base-line mapping of bottom habitats in Norwegian waters, and to convey knowledge gained through the MAREANO Internet portal.

MAREANO (Marine AREAl database for NOrwegian waters) mapping activities are focused on: the distribution of natural resources; biodiversity; the physical environment supporting bottom communities; vulnerable habitats;  impacts from fishing; sediment types; and chemical contaminants.  Findings provide the background information needed to support future management decisions made to safeguard marine benthic organisms and protect vulnerable habitats. The MAREANO programme is steered by a group representing the national Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs; Ministry of the Environment; Ministry of Trade and Industry; and Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Prioritized Areas

The “Integrated Management Plan of the Marine Environment of the Barents Sea and the Sea Areas off the Lofoten Islands” (Report No. 8 to the Storting, 2005-2006) emphasizes that mapping bottom habitats along the continental slope and on fishing banks adjacent to the coast of Northern Norway must be given priority.  Findings are presented:  1) on MAREANO’s Internet portal; 2) to the Norwegian government in a report from a standing panel of experts; and available in the book publication “Til bunns i Barentshavet”/ ‘Getting to the Bottom of the Barents Sea’ (2010; in Norwegian). 

The plan for “Integrated Management of the Marine Environment of the Norwegian Sea ” (Report No. 37 to the Storting, 2008-2009) requires that mapping of the bottom habitats be carried out during 2010 in the Norwegian Sea.  Similar to the Barents Sea, priority areas to be mapped in the Norwegian Sea  include: the great fishing banks; the continental slopes; and areas along the  Polar Front - where cold and relatively warm water masses meet and form areas of high productivity.  The Nordland VI oil field - positioned southwest of the Lofoten Islands - will also be mapped.

Take a Look

At the MAREANO internet portal you’ll find: information about the programme; its findings; and a variety of interactive mapping features.

Focus om Marine Research 2-2009: MAREANO - collecting marine knowledge.