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Barents Sea Map

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The Barents Sea contains the world largest remaining cod population, as well as an important stocks of haddock and capelin. Fishing is managed jointly by Russia and Norway in the form of the Joint Norwegian–Russian Fisheries Commission, established in 1976, in an attempt to keep track of how many fish are leaving the ecosystem due to fishing. The Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission sets Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for multiple species throughout their migratory tracks. Through the Commission, Norway and Russia also exchange fishing quotas and catch statistics to ensure the TACs are not being violated. However, there are problems with the system and the effects of fishing on the Barents Sea ecosystem are not completely accurate. Cod is one of the major catches. A large portion of catches are not reported when the fishing boats land to account for profits that are being lost to high taxes and fees. Since many fishermen do not strictly follow the TACs and rules set forth by the Commission, the amount of fish being extracted annually from the Barents Sea is underestimated.

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