The Mareano Programme aims to provide answers to questions such as:

  • How is the seascape of the Norwegian continental shelf?
  • What does the seabed consist of?
  • How is the biodiversity distributed on the seabed?
  • How are habitats and biotopes distributed on the seabed?
  • What is the relationship between the physical environment, biodiversity and biological resources?
  • How much contaminants are stored in the bottom sediments?


The Institute of Marine Research, the Geological Survey of Norway and the Norwegian Mapping Authority Hydrographic Service comprise the Executive Working Group which is responsible for carrying out the Mareano field sampling and other scientific activities. The Programme Group, led by the Norwegian Environment Agency, has the executive responsibility for the MAREANO activities.

The Programme is financed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Climate and Environment. These ministries, inclusive of the ministries of Petroleum and Energy, Local Government and Modernisation and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, form the MAREANO Steering Board.

Financial contribution in:

  • 2014: Mill. NOK 91.7
  • 2013: Mill. NOK 90.5
  • 2012: Mill. NOK 88.4
  • 2011: Mill. NOK 92,4
  • 2010: Mill. NOK 51.5
  • 2009: Mill. NOK 51.5
  • 2008: Mill. NOK 32.6
  • 2007: Mill. NOK 32.6
  • 2006: Mill. NOK 23.6

Main products

These are the main products produced by Mareano:

  • information about seabed characteristics and biotopes
  • information about the distribution of benthic fauna, communities, biological diversity and production
  • information about contaminants in the sediments
  • detailed bathymetric maps
  • online database and map services collecting information on Norwegian coastal and ocean regions

First phase: 2006––2010


MAREANO-results contributed significantly with marine benthic knowledge to the revision of the Management plan for the Barents Sea and areas off Lofoten, which was presented in 2011. The report forms a background knowledge that is to be used by Norwegian authorities in their management of northern seas, in particular relative to fisheries and future petroleum activities. These areas were therefore given priority in the first phase of the MAREANO baseline mapping.

Second phase: 2011–

The MAREANO mapping will continue in the Barents Sea inclusive of the new Norwegian areas. However, due to a scheduled revision of the Management plan for the Norwegian Sea in 2014, priority is as well given to the shelf areas of the Norwegian Sea. The field-mapping of the Nordland VI-area was finished in 2013.