Delivering knowledge to improve environmental risk management for Northern Norway’s marine ecosystems

JoLynn Carroll1 ,2, Paul Renaud1, Paul Wassmann3, Jasmine Nahrgang3, Roger Flage4, Thierry Baussant5, Martin Biuw1

1Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway, 2University of Tromsø – Geology, Tromsø, Norway, 3University of Tromsø – BFE, Tromsø, Norway, 4University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway, 5International Research Institute of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

 
 
The exploration and development of resources in the Arctic is often characterized as involving greater risk and severity of impacts to the environment relative to many other regions. This requires development of environmental risk management approaches tailored to the unique exploration and future operational challenges for Arctic areas. Environmental risk management is one of five core research themes established in the new Centre for ARCtic Petroleum Exploration (ARCEx). This research theme specifically addresses the need for improved assimilation of new ecosystem and ecotoxicology knowledge through field studies and experiments. In addition this research theme addresses the development of improved impact and risk assessment methods tailored for the Arctic. These environmental activities are designed to further close existing knowledge gaps by: creating new knowledge and data on Arctic ecosystems and food webs and on key species’ sensitivities to petroleum discharges; improving impact assessment models; creating a theoretical risk uncertainty framework for the Arctic; and developing strategies to minimize the impact on living organisms during geophysical data acquisition. Taken together, the Centre’s environmental activities support the establishment of sound environmental practices in the Arctic.