The Barents Sea is moderately productive, but being large, it supports large fish populations. Walrus, bowheads and other large whales were seriously depleted by this previous hunting, and have been slow to recover. Despite this the region continues to support abundant marine life and active fisheries. Now, oil and gas activity is increasing in the Barents Sea. Offshore drilling and production as well as tanker traffic are expected to rise. While normal operations may pose little additional threat, the consequences of an oil spill could be severe.