In recent years developing and exploitation of oil and gas field of the Barents Sea arctic shelf resulted in requirement of detailed information about status of the main ecosystem parameters. Relating to marine birds data on trends of distribution pattern at the sea, number of certain species and seasonal dynamics are of particular attention. Historically regional marine bird investigations were carried out in coastal areas with large breeding colonies (Belopolskiy, 1957; Demme, 1934; Uspenskiy, 1956). Evaluation of rapid increasing information about marine bird breeding biology and ecology in 1970–90s shows that many concrete tasks can’t be solved in absence of data from open sea. In1990s large complex of important information was obtained as a result of intensive ornithological observation in the open sea. The most successful censuses methods were developed, seabird species composition and quantity index was determined, number of seabirds calculating on a base of aerial surveys was formulated.

Colonial seabirds were shown to be dominated in the open sea with the most diversity in its western part. Seabird composition of the eastern part of the open Barents Sea is restricted by only three species. In central Barents Sea 16 colonial seabird species were observed regular. However, when assessing the impact of planned projects on the marine avifauna the obtained information is taken into account to a small extent or not at all taken into account. The avifauna investigation for the Engineering and Environmental Survey (EES)(inzhenerno-ekologicheskie uzyskaniya in the Russian official terminology) are carried out in minimal volume in order to reduce the financial costs of environmental support projects. When planning the environmental monitoring of the area required parameters of the ornithological information shall not be considered. At the same time, the amount of environmental studies for Environmental Impact Assessment and environmental research is not defined in the Russian Federation legislation.

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