Record eastern distribution of Barents cod stock

The ecosystem mission in the Barents Sea is a collaboration between the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and its Russian counterpart PINRO. The two organizations have been cooperating since 1958.

The Barents Sea cod stock is growing and spreading northwards and eastwards. Never before have scientists found cod as far east as during this year’s ecosystem mission.


Norwegian and Russian scientists from the Institute of Marine Research and PINRO recently concluded this year’s joint ecosystem mission to the Barents Sea.

The Russian research vessel “Vilnius” found cod as far east as 79 degrees 36 minutes east in the Northern Kara Sea. Norwegian and Russian researchers have never heard of cod being found this far to the east before.  

The cod has probably followed capelin shoals into this area, and the waters are shallow enough for the cod to thrive. The temperature in the area is at the moment also convenient for the cod, and there is a possibility that there will be more cod in this area in the future, the Institute of Marine Research’s web site reads. 

The ecosystem mission also revealed that the largest concentrations of cod are far north in the Barents Sea – between 78 and 80 degrees north. Last year the scientists found cod as far north as 82 degrees 30 minutes north, which still holds as a record.