International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Working Group on the Integrated Assessments of the Norwegian Sea (WGINOR; outputs from 2023 meeting)

posted on 2024-05-17, 13:44 authored by ICESICES

The ICES Working Group on integrated assessments for the Norwegian Sea (WGINOR) synthesizes and evaluates information on physical, chemical, ecological, human, and environmental processes affecting the Norwegian Sea ecosystem. For this purpose, it gathers information, performs data analyses, and interacts with stakeholders. Based on these, WGINOR develops and produces an annual ecosystem status summary and assembles a knowledge base that supports the Norwegian Sea Ecosystem Overview.

In 2023, WGINOR updated the integrated ecosystem assessment of the Norwegian Sea and reports that 1) while the extent of Arctic Water is increasing, the heat content in the Norwegian Sea remains above the long-term average, 2) the annual primary production remains stable, but the seasonal timing of peak production is gradually shifting to a later date, 3) zooplankton spring biomass declined in the mid-2000s and since then there has been no clear trend but variations between years, 4) spawning-stock biomass of herring and mackerel continued to decline in 2023 whereas the blue whiting stock is increased due to historically high recruitment of two year classes, 5) breeding numbers for Atlantic puffin and black-legged kittiwake continue to decline at the Norwegian coast and common guillemot numbers remain low despite an increasing trend in the last decade, 6) distribution of baleen whales has gradually shifted towards Barents Sea and North Sea. Minke whale abundance is estimated to have increased considerably in the last years. Abundance indicators for main seal species suggest declining numbers or are highly uncertain.

WGINOR is gradually implementing standardized data analysis procedures. For the second time, some of these analyses are implemented in the ICES Transparent Assessment Frame-work (TAF). WGINOR is also developing a set of geographical polygons to report the results of regional analyses in a standardized manner. WGINOR began work of systematically reviewing and selecting indicators, from a compilation of time-series available to WGINOR, to be included in the integrated ecosystem assessment of the Norwegian Sea. In 2023, the indicators time-series for ocean climate and fish were reviewed.

In 2023, WGINOR discussed emerging issues related to underwater noise and deep-sea mining. WGINOR invited stakeholders from the Faroe Islands’ organizations to further develop the dialogue between WGINOR scientists and the end-users of WGINOR work. Additional scientific highlights from the group include research on foodweb assessment modelling, regime shift detection methods, mackerel migration, and blue whiting early life stage survival.


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


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Anna H. Ólafsdóttir; Benjamin Planque

Contributors (Authors)

Tycho Anker-Nilsen; Per Arneberg; Cecilie Broms; Lucie Buttay; Costanza Capelli; Gabrielle Dublet-Adli; Sólvá Káradóttir Eliasen; Anne Kirstine Frie; Hannah Haines; Hjálmar Hátún; Eydna í Homrum; Jan Arge Jacobsen; Steingrímur Jónsson; Svein-Håkon Lorentsen; Erik Askov Mousing; Anna H. Ólafsdóttir; Hildur Pétursdóttir; Benjamin Planque; Warsha Singh; Øystein Skagseth; Morten Skogen; Aril Slotte; Hiroko Solvang; Peter Steingrund; Espen Strand; John Tyler Trochta; Gro I van der Meeren; Antje Voelker; Paulus Jacobus Wensveen



Recommended citation

ICES. 2024. Working Group on the Integrated Assessments of the Norwegian Sea (WGINOR; outputs from 2023 meeting). ICES Scientific Reports. 6:33. 71 pp.

Publication language

  • en

File format(s)

  • PDF