The challenge is to improve understanding of how the ecosystem responds to changes in the Arctic physical environment
Most of the biological sampling, especially sub-surface, is still done from research vessels and the long distance from ports to the high Arctic adds to the costs and feasibility. Even baseline information regarding physical, chemical and biological conditions is generally lacking in the Arctic Ocean. Similar to physical observations, the main restriction to developing good Arctic biological observation systems is the ice cover. Consequently, there are large knowledge gaps concerning the presence, abundance and distribution of planktonic organisms, fish species, marine mammals and benthic organisms in the Arctic. Furthermore, very little is known about the production capacity at species level, hence also in an ecosystem context. INTAROS intends to make new observations and validate ecosystem models as well as demonstrate the utility of such information to Norwegian and Greenland fisheries and environmental authorities.