The management plans give an overall framework for both existing and new activities in these waters, and facilitate co-existence of different activities, particularly the fisheries, maritime transport and the petroleum activity. The aim is to establish an ecosystem-based management of the activities in the relevant sea area. This means that all activities in the area should be managed within a single context and that the total environmental pressure from activities should not threaten the ecosystems. It is a goal that human activities do not jeopardise natural fluctuations in ecosystems and mitigation measures are implemented where unacceptable risks have been identified.
The work is organized by an interministerial Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Climate and Environment. Other members are the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and Communications the Ministry Justice and Public Security, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The integrated management plan for the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten was adopted by the Norwegian Parliament in 2006 and revised in 2010. The plan for the Norwegian Sea was adopted in 2009 and plan for the Norwegian part of the North Sea and Skagerrak was adopted in 2013.
It is the intention to revise and update the management plans at certain intervals.
The management plans are build on a comprehensive set of knowledge, but they also reveal that there are considerable needs for further knowledge. The knowledge base will therefore be strengthened through mapping, research and monitoring, and a monitoring group is established to coordinate the monitoring of the ocean areas (MAREANO).