Fisheries and aquaculture
Among other things, marine geological data can used for biotope modelling; that is, to depict the relationship between the bottom types and living organisms. These maps may identify habitats for certain species, which is valuable information for fisheries and for ecosystem-based, sustainable management. Seabed maps of the Astafjord area are designed to be used aboard in fishing and aquaculture vessels that use electronic chart plotters from Olex. The maps can be downloaded from www.olex.no.
Cold water coral reefs on the continental shelf are among the richest marine biotopes in Norway. They serve as spawning areas and shelter young species important for fisheries, such as red bream, tusk and ling. Large areas of coral reefs and other bottom-dwelling communities have been destroyed by bottom trawling which involves dragging heavy equipment across the seabed. NGU's geologists produce marine maps and datasets that help users identify vulnerable areas, so damage to marine environments can be avoided. Along the Norwegian coast, the aquaculture industry is important to the economy and job security, hence, marine maps are also used by them. Improving knowledge about the natural environment is vital to sustainable management of the sea and its resources. NGU's mapping of the geology and the conditions of the seafloor form an important part of this knowledge base.