International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Greenland Sea ecoregion – Ecosystem overview

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posted on 2020-12-10, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

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The Greenland Sea ecoregion follows the Greenland Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) definition and comprises the continental shelf waters and offshore areas. The Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland separates the ecoregion into a northern and southern subregion that differ with respect to ice coverage, influence of polar and Atlantic waters, and anthropogenic activity. The ecoregion borders five other ecoregions (Oceanic Northeast Atlantic, Icelandic Waters, Norwegian Sea, Barents Sea, and Arctic Ocean) and also the West Greenland waters (Figure 1).

• The northern subregion: This subregion is characterized by cold and fresh polar waters, a broad continental shelf, year-round sea ice, and little anthropogenic activity.

• The southern subregion: This subregion is characterized by warmer and more saline waters, a narrow continental shelf, seasonal drift ice, and activities of demersal and pelagic fisheries.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • ACOM


ICES Advice: Ecosystem overviews

Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. Greenland Sea ecoregion – Ecosystem overview. In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2020. ICES Advice 2020.