The Astafjord project – a multidisciplinary mapping model of a past and present fjord environment, with a future perspective
Liv Plassen1, Oddvar Longva1, Tone Rasmussen2, Børge Arvesen3
1Geological Survey of Norway, 2Sea Eco, Harstad, Norway, 3Kleiva Fiskefarm, Engenes, Norway
Along the Norwegian coast there are high expectations for generation of value from marine resources. At the same time, knowledge of the environmental conditions is rather limited. The Astafjord project is a pilot project, which may serve as a model for a full coverage mapping effort for the entire coastal zone of Norway, facilitating economic growth and maintaining a sustainable environment.
Astafjordane is a fjord system located in Troms County, North Norway. Here, a group of local municipalities have joined forces to make better plans for the management of their marine areas. The plan covers location of fishfarms, fishing- and spawning areas, environmental status, and the location of infrastructure to optimize the use of their marine areas. As part of the project, swath bathymetry and backscatter data for the fjords have been collected and ground truthed by video and grab sampling. The benthic faunal assemblages and content of pollutants in the sediments have also been mapped. The environmental status for the area is presently good, and the data provide a base line for future monitoring.
Results from earlier investigations regarding the seismic stratigraphy, sedimentary environment and deglaciation history are also available from the area. The new data from the Astafjord project gives the opportunity to get a better understanding about the sedimentary processes of the Astafjord area in particular, and of fjord environments in general.
Marine base maps including geological maps and derived thematic maps are incorporated in the Astafjord area plan as a GIS. These include sediment grain size, geomorphological elements and their origin, slide hazard, anchoring conditions, average current velocity, potential oxygen deficiency areas and habitat maps. Simultaneously these base maps are made into electronic charts for use on chart plotters on work vessels, and they will be published on www.mareano.no . Through this initiative the municipalities have gained tools for knowledge based management of their marine areas, including far better knowledge on potential habitats for vulnerable species.
The 2nd International Symposium on
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
3 – 7 July 2011
Interactive coastal management; The Astafjord project
Tone Rasmussen1 and Børge Arvesen2
1) SeaEco AS, Laupstad, N-9454 Ånstad
2) Kleiva Fiskefarm AS, N-9455 Engenes
Throughout the last 30 years a gradual change from the coastal traditional small vessel fisheries towards aquaculture have taken place, especially in protected areas of the coast. The need for more areas for aquaculture, as well as environmental concern, and the general interest in the coast as a recreational zone has triggered the need for more intensive coastal zone planning. The responsibility to plan and manage the coastal zone is strict; all use should be sustainable and environmental friendly. Lack of knowledge limits the local government and the population in general from knowing what consequences their decision-making will have on the system. Faced with this challenge, a group of municipalities in northern Norway, joined forces in 2003 for the management of their marine areas. The Astafjord project identified early the need for politicians and management as well as the users of the coastal zone to speak the same language. Information obtained through scientific research had to be “translated” to enable non-scientists to take part in discussions. The primary result of this is an overall awareness in the whole community of the value, robustness and fragility of the marine areas, as well as it reduced conflicts over decisions made.
The project is unique as it is defined and run by the local management in cooperation with the users and the knowledge have been obtained through joint venture and “science shopping” from the Geological Survey of Norway, SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, the