, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 148–158 | Cite as

Mapping Biological Resources in the Coastal Zone: An Evaluation of Methods in a Pioneering Study from Norway

  • Jan Atle Knutsen
  • Halvor KnutsenEmail author
  • Eli Rinde
  • Hartvig Christie
  • Torjan Bodvin
  • Einar Dahl
Review Paper


For many years, the planning and management of terrestrial areas has been supported by a detailed knowledge of the distribution of habitats and their associated species. However, the detailed mapping of biological resources in extent coastal areas, such as the Norwegian coastal zone, is unrealistic due to its enormous coastline. Here, we present a useful and feasible approach and a set of simple, cost-effective methods which are suitable for providing a broad-scale overview of marine habitats and fish resources. This approach was developed in conjunction with a pioneer study conducted along the southern coast of the Skagerrak, where we combined knowledge gathered from local fishermen with scientific knowledge of important species and nature types to establish a coastal sea mapping program. GIS modeling tools were used in both the mapping program and to integrate local and scientific knowledge into digital maps made available to local area management. This multi-faceted approach, which combines local knowledge and scientific methods, provides valuable information with respect to marine biodiversity, and has been used extensively by local environmental management.


Coastal zone management Fish resources Habitat mapping Stakeholders Norwegian Skagerrak coast 



This study was financed by the Tvedestrand municipality, the County Governor of Aust Agder, and the County Authority of Aust Agder. We thank Svein Erik Enersen, Kate Enersen, Øystein Paulsen, and Jan Henrik Simonsen for their assistance in lab and fieldwork. We also thank Asbjørn Aass and Henry Knutsen for their assistance with interviewing local fishermen, all the local marine surveillance personnel (especially Jim Güttrup), and all the local fishermen who shared their information with us.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Atle Knutsen
    • 1
  • Halvor Knutsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eli Rinde
    • 2
  • Hartvig Christie
    • 2
  • Torjan Bodvin
    • 1
  • Einar Dahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Coastal Zone, Institute of Marine ResearchFlødevigen Marine Research StationHisNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute for Water ResearchOsloNorway

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