The Barents Sea is a sea on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. It lies in the north of Norway and is bordered by Russia in the south. In the northern part lie the islands of Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land, and in the east extends the island of Novaya Zemlya. In the west, the Barents Sea borders the European North Sea. The maximum depth is about 600 m, and the area covers nearly 1,424,000 km². Due to the North Atlantic Current, an offshoot of the Gulf Stream, many harbors on the Barents Sea are ice-free year-round despite their northern location. In spring, the algae begin producing phytoplankton, the food base for marine mammals, fish and seabirds. Of economic importance is fishing with rich cod stocks. In addition, there are large natural gas and oil deposits under the seabed.