On-going projects

MarES - Changing uses and values of marine ecosystem services 

MarES is an interdisciplinary research project. Researcherd from UiT, Akvaplan Niva, University in Stavanger, NMBU, Menon economics and Universidade NOVA de Lisboa have goal to find new and better instruments for marine resource management. It is especially relevant in areas with conflicts of interest between user groups and policy makers. MarES recognizes that global changes in climate and human activities may affect utilization of marine ecosystem services (ES) in the northernmost part of Norway. Project leader: Margrethe Aanesen.

ATLAS - understanding deep Atlantic ecosystems
UiT is involved as a partner in the ATLAS-project that will provide essential new knowledge of deep ocean ecosystems in the North Atlantic. This ambitious project will explore the world of deep -sea habitats (200-2000 m) where the greatest gaps in our understandig lie and certain populations and ecosystems are under pressure.

ClimeFish - adapting to a changing word

The overall goal of ClimeFish is to help ensure that the increase in seafood production comes in areas and for species where there is a potential for sustainable growth, given the expected developments in climate, thus contributing to robust employment and sustainable development of rural and coastal communities.



The objective of PrimeFish  is to enhance the economic sustainability and competiveness of European fisheries and aquaculture  sectors. The European seafood marked will be analysed, particularly with respect to cod, herring, trout, seabass, seabream and salmon. (Margrethe Aanesen).


DiscardLess - Strategies for the gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries.
The aim of this EU project is to help provide the knowledge, tools and technologies needed to eliminate discarding in the European Union fisheries. Involvement of stakeholders is a key part of the project which recognise that discarding is as much a societal challenge as a fishery management one. Claire Armstrong is involved in DiscardLess

SEAVIEW: Scenario, fishEry, ecologicAl-economic modelling and VIability nEtWork.
"The aim of the network SEAVIEW is to reinforce and disseminate the methodological advances of the network teams regarding viability modeling for ecosystem-based fishery and marine biodiversity scenarios and management strategies".

Climate change

Through NORHED, Nha Trang University, University of Tromsø, University of Bergen and University of Ruhuna will cooperate to build research and education programs on the impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity, fisheries, aquacutlure and coastal communities (Claire Armstrong).

Conflicting objectives in the fishing industry.
The fisheries Policy has multiple and partly conflicting objectives. How one emphasize the different objectives will be crucial as to how the fisheries authorities will allocate the total quota to the different vessel groups. In this project we investigate the objectives “maximum profitability in fishing” (measured in ground rent) and 
“employment in fishing districts” (measured in number of employees in the fishing industry) by applying a Multiple-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) model; which can be used to analyze the assessments between the different objectives in addition to giving an estimation of the compromises where the objective is emphasized equally.

Network of small-scale fisheries
Too Big to Ignore is a Canadian research network with partners from all around the world that aims to remedy the marginalization of small-scale fisheries in both national and international policy making and to develop research capacities and research leaders to put global fishing challenges on the agenda. Today the network includes most areas where small-scale fisheries are important (Arne Eide & Svein Jentoft).

RACArctic - Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of ARCTIC marine systems under a changing climate
The RACArctic project is designed to synthesize information from regional studies conducted by Japan, USA, and Norway to examine how variability and trends in ecological processes in the Subarctic to Arctic transition zone may affect future marine ecosystems of the Pacific and Atlantic Arctic, their resource management, and socio-economics.The goal of the project is to assess whether the biological, management and socio-economic systems have the resilience and adaptive capacity to cope with anticipated changes. (Arne Eide).

Finished projects

Nature’s values – recreation
Norwegians use nature to a large extent in their recreational activities. But what is the value of being able to hike up a mountain, go on a fishing trip or take a stroll along the shoreline? While we are able to value and pin numbers on commercial activities carried out in the coastal zone, there are no corresponding numbers on what our coast line is worth as a recreational area for Norwegians. Nature Value  is financed by The Norwegian Research Council (Margrethe Aanesen).


We analyze the implementation of marine protected areas in combination with open access fisheries in a biologic model with different biological growth factors. Preserving, restoration, food safety, employment and socioeconomic profit are amongst the fisheries’ objectives. This includes the effect on ground rent, overfishing, catch, consumer and producer profit and employment (Ola Flaaten, Claire Armstrong & Siv Reithe).


ACCESS is a European research program about climate change, economy and society in the Arctic. One of the work packages involves fisheries, aquaculture and marine mammals. A spatial bio-economic model is applied to research the effect of climate change on the fisheries in the Barents Sea and how this affects the efficiency of different management regimes (Arne Eide).

Valuing Cold Water Corals

Coral Value is a research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project aims to estimate a monetary
value of the ecosystem services cold water corals provide. A bio-economic model will be used to calculate their contribution to the wealth created in fisheries. This information will be supplied by a survey allowing input from the public on their opinion regarding whether and why these structures should be protected. The combined results from these studies will give input to cold water coral management in Norway within an ecosystem based management framework (Claire Armstrong, Margrethe Aanesen & Jannike Falk-Petersen).

A traditional fishing vessel in Finnmark (Photo: Jannike Falk-

The economic consequences of engine fuel subsidies abolishment for fishing vessels

The project’s goal is to estimate the effect of the abolishment of engine fuel subsidies in the Nordic countries. Today the fishing fleet are exempt from the duty on mineral oil by the refunding of paid-up CO2 tax and ground rent. To lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the government are considering repealing the fleet’s reimbursement system. The project is funded by The Nordic Council and lead by Staffan Waldo
at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Nofima  is the profect’s Norwegian sub-contractor, and the work is carried out in collaboration with Professor Ola Flaaten at the University of Tromsø.

Hamnes fishing village (Photo: Jannike Falk-Andersson)

The economic value of fishing rights

In Norwegian fisheries fishing rights, such as vessel licenses and fishing quotas, are granted by the government to vessel owners without cost. Over time the different structural regimes have meant that the current vessels have a mix of free fishing rights granted by the State and fishing rights bought from other vessel owners. In the public profitability survey on the Norwegian fishing fleet from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries and in the Brønnøysund Register Centre the separation of factors
affecting the operational efficiency and socioeconomic factors can be difficult. In this project, funded by internal means, we aim to find out more about the socioeconomic costs and revenues in fisheries. How large is the economic rent in Norwegian fisheries? (Ola Flåten and Knut Heen).

NOMA-FAME class 2012

Education for developing countries

NOMA-FAME was a Msc program given by the Norwegian College of Fishery Science in collaboration with the University of Nha Trang, Vietnam. The main goal was to meet the need for more knowledge in fisheries economics and aquaculture in developing countries. NOMA-FAME has its own facebook site.

Redfish hiding amongst cold water corals (Photo:

High activity in the margins of the sea

HERMES (Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas) was an interdisciplinary EU project which aimed to better the understanding of the connections between species diversity and the function of marine ecosystems. The main focus was species diversity hotspots in the deep-sea; such as cold water corals, ravines, anaerobic environments and societies one can find on open slopes (Claire Armstrong).

Close-up of Lophelia pertusa (Photo:

Activity in the sea and human influence

HERMIONE (Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man’s Impact On European Seas) was a follow-up of HERMES, and focused on the same deep-sea ecosystems. The project investigated how these ecosystems contribute with goods and services we humans depend upon, and how we humans affect them. The accumulated knowledge was poured into the EU in connection with the development of EU’s environmental policy (Claire Armstrong).

Tusk swimming among cold water coral (Photo:

Ecosystem-based management and corals

CoralFISH (Ecosystem-based management of corals, fish and fisheries in the deep waters of Europe and beyond) was a EU project investigating the interaction between coral, fish and fisheries, aiming to develop surveillance and predicative modeling tools for ecosystem-based management of the deep-seas (Claire Armstrong).

The fishing port of Ville France sur Mer (Photo: Jannike Falk-Petersen).

Ecosystem-based management and the EU

MEFEPO (Making the European Fisheries Ecosystem Plan Operational) aimed to show how ecosystem-based fisheries management could be made operational in the EU’s fisheries policy. The project took place from 2008 to 2011 and developed ecosystem plans for three of Europe’s fisheries (Claire Armstrong & Margrethe Aanesen).

Fisherman's shacks in Reine, Lofoten (Photo: Jannike Falk-Petersen).

Coastal zone management in the EU

SPICOSA an EU integrated project with the objective of creating a research framework to evaluate alternatives for viable management of the coastal zone. The project contributed to the understanding of social interactions within the coastal zone and how these affected the environment and future policies. SPICOSA was financed by EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development . The Norwegian contribution focused on the effect of fishing tourism in coastal municipalities, and used a case-study from Risør. Ola Flaaten represented the University of Tromsø. In addition the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and NORUT's Social Science Research group  contributed.

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