The research cooperation between Norway and Russia is one of the few joint platforms of collaboration that still exist after Russia's invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago. Now, research ships from Norway and Russia are on their annual research voyage in the Barents Sea.
Research ships from Norway and Russia are currently conducting their annual joint voyage in the Barents Sea. On the 19th of August, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research's research vessel, G.O. Sars, embarked on a voyage with the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO).
Now, the ships are heading north to carry out a joint research voyage in the Barents Sea, writes Khrono.
The research cooperation between Norway and Russia is one of the few joint platforms of cooperation to still exist after Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago.
The mission includes surveilling the condition and changes in the ecosystem and gathering necessary data for advisory work and research, according to the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (Norwegian only).
The eco voyage collects data and reports to the joint Norwegian-Russian fishery and environmental commissions and several groups within the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).
Data collection from the voyage is the basis for the annual fishery negotiations in which the quota distribution between Norway and Russia is set, as it has been since 1976. The ecosystem voyage in the Barents Sea is considered crucial for the joint management of the ecosystem and the fishery resources in the Barents Sea.
Marine research cooperation is one of the few official channels of communication between Norway and Russia.
Few official channels
Until further notice, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has dispensation to work with Russia. All other institutional research cooperation with Russia was shut down as the war broke out.
Marine research cooperation is one of the few official channels of communication between Norway and Russia, except for cooperation on search and rescue, border cooperation, and fishery.
The voyage lasts for thirty days and takes place in both the Norwegian and the Russian zones. Norwegian and Russian researchers meet in March to discuss the course of the voyage, which involves three Norwegian and up to three Russian boats to cover the entire Barents Sea concurrently and utilize as many standardized measurement and collection methods as possible.
One meeting only
Permission is also sought for Norwegian boats to assist in the Russian zone, if necessary, and vice versa. The researchers also collaborate closely afterward on analyzing data.
Last year, Russia was excluded from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), where data from the voyage has been handled and communicated to the Norwegian-Russian fishery commission. After Russia attacked Ukraine, there has only been one physical meeting.
The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has formally cooperated with Russia and the Soviet Union since the 1950s.
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.