The HI in Norway has recommended to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy not to open areas closest to the ice edge zone and Mørebankane
The Institute of Marine Research (HI) in Norway has recommended to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy not to open areas closest to the ice edge zone and Mørebankane in the 25th licensing round
The advice from HI is largely in accordance with the Fishermen’s Association’s view in their response to the Norwegian Government’s consultation.
The government at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has proposed announcing 136 new blocks for petroleum activity in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
HI points out that the blocks in the Norwegian Sea are close to the spawning area for several commercially important fish species, such as Norwegian spring-spawning herring, saithe and redfish. The area also has corals and sponges that will be vulnerable to petroleum activities.
HI is also critical of the current scheme of announcing land for petroleum activities through its own licensing rounds. HI says the scheme violates the principle of holistic management, which assesses the overall burden of human activity on ecosystems.
“It is a growing problem for the marine environment that we have a fragmentation of management between different sectors. We believe that the allocation of area for petroleum activities should be part of the holistic management plans for Norwegian sea areas,” says research director at HI, Geir Huse to his own website.
HI also believes that the effects of petroleum activity on the global climate must be included in the assessment when allocating land. Knowledge of global climate change, including ocean acidification and effects on marine ecosystems, has increased significantly in recent years.
The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association also believes that increased oil activity on the Eggakanten and Møre banks and in the Barents Sea should not be permitted.
In its response, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association pointed out the requirement for transparency about the petroleum professional assessments that form the basis for the licensing rounds on the Norwegian shelf, both the APA and the licensing rounds.
The Fishermen’s Association also emphasizes that they expect the MPE to place great emphasis on consideration of fishing interests and biological diversity in the event of an expansion in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. This applies both to seismic surveys, to test drilling and laying of pipes and cables, etc.