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Annotated ecological and fishery atlas of the Barents Sea (electronic version) Печать E-mail

NOVIKOV MA, PLOTITSYNA N.F. Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography

Ecological and fishery atlas of the Barents Sea was issued in PINRO. It was made as a complex cartographic work of scientific, information and applied character reflecting different knowledge of the background state of the shelf in the southern and central parts of the sea.

Electronic atlas was formed on the basis of digital fund cartographic material and databases, which are available in Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography. Technology of making electronic atlas of the Barents Sea, on the whole, corresponds to the raster model of geographical information systems (GIS). The map of the coastal line with 1:250000 scale digitized in PINRO from the set of navigation charts was basic in the map series (atlas) of the Barents Sea. The mapped area has the following geographical position: diagonal 76°N, 20°E - 67°50'N, 57°E. The resolution of data matrix (digital raster map) made up 1 "fishing square" - the trapezium of regular grade grid with the size of 10'х30' by latitude and longitude, respectively. A screen model of geographical data presentation was mainly used to apply the material collected in the atlas for the calculation of synthetic evaluation indices of the Barents Sea area vulnerability to different anthropogenous effect of the local character.

The atlas includes 60 maps of different content, mainly, relating to hydrography, state of marine biological resources (including fishery) and pollution of marine ecosystem components. All the maps of the Barents Sea electronic atlas were made in the medium of GIS Arcview 3.1. To be handy the maps of the Barents Sea are presented in Merkator projection and single arranging. Each map is accompanied by reference about given characteristic (theme) and annotation (the link "Description"). The reference, in particular, contains information about the origin of cartographical (digital) material put into the basis of one or other maP.

Each section in the atlas is supplemented by the references used in mapping of given section and description to them. Allowing for significant contribution of the long-term climatic characteristics to the distribution of biological objects in the Barents Sea, with availability of relevant material, warm and cold years were mapped separately (capelin, euphausids). We should remind that relating to warm (cold) years were those ones, during which on the Kola Section water temperature was higher (lower) by 0.3 °C than the long-term mean. The boundary position of fishing areas showed in the maps was given in accordance with the above-mentioned map of fishery divisioning of the Barents Sea. The location of stable hydrographic fronts is presented following the data from PINRO. Denominations of main water masses are given in the map of currents.

The synthetic evaluation maps of area vulnerability should be mentioned separately. We should specify that vulnerability of water ecosystem, as it is considered by us, means the extent of its dependence on the external impact, which may lead to the upset in its structure and functioning, i.e. to the loss of stability (even temporary). Possible losses of marine organism biomass and productivity of biocenoses in the case of pollution or estrangement of these or those areas should determine the extent of vulnerability, in our opinion, during the industrial exploitation of the shelf (extraction of minerals etc.). Synthetic estimate of vulnerability was calculated by the way of integrating normalized data of all the digital subject maps of the atlas with regard for their "weight" characteristics. Methodology of synthetic estimate calculation may be found in the relevant literature issued in PINRO (Novikov. 2002).

One of the most important component of ecological and fishery atlas is mapping of pollutant distribution- or. to be more precise, of their content level in the environment and marine organisms. The presence of contaminating agents in natural ecosystems is a very important part of abiotic component of habitat factors forming background ecological state of the biota of one or other water reservoir. Excluding local pollution, the level of the presence of different combinations of anthropogeneous character is of, primarily, global character affected by atmospheric transfer, availability of different scale circulation (gyres) system and currents. In the marginal and inland seas contribution of local pollution to the background level is conditioned by specific character of anthropogenous toxic press together with the other environmental factors causing the certain development level of biological species populations including the state of biological resources. Mapping of important pollution content in bottom sediments, water and fish (cod) selected by the grid of stations in the Barents Sea and the eastern Norwegian Sea was made within the group of pollution sections (38 maps).

A qualitative mapping of the presence of one or other level of pollution in fish, water and bottom sediments in Arcview GIS medium allow us to trace the ways of pollutant migration from the sources of their entering the environment to the final links of trophic chain, where they are accumulated at the maximum level. Comparison of data on the pollution with the other ones from the electronic atlas favors making serious geographical information analysis to evaluate the effect of natural factors on forming the final level of the pollution.

In the analytical maps the level of water pollution and bottom sediments is shown by signs, proportionally reflecting the rate of the pollution on the continuous conditional scale. To have more general picture of the pollution distribution character over the surface of sea bottom sediments in some cases interpolation of dot data was made. To show the level of cod muscle and liver pollution the "Local diagram" instrument as the two columns proportionally reflecting the level of presence of one or other pollutant in both tissues was used.

The present atlas allows us to estimate the background state of the majority of the most important components in the Barents Sea ecosystem, to make geographical and information analysis of abiotic and biotic environmental factors mutual location and correlation in the spatial distribution, their relationship, to evaluate production characteristics of marine biota. With a complex usage, the materials of the annotated atlas may help in solving the whole complex of problems relating to rational exploitation of the Barents Sea natural resources. It will be, especially, timely in the conditions of joint exploitation of living and mineral resources of the shelf by the fishery and gas and oil industries. The atlas contains information allowing us to evaluate different sea areas from the point of their biological productivity, up-to-date importance for harvesting the most important species of biological resources, their ecological vulnerability in respect of anthropogenous pollution and other economical factors with the maximum rate of objectivity.



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