The world becomes more and more desperate for oil; the search for this precious commodity will extend to ever more inaccessible places. The Barents Sea has been for many decades the scene of conflict over resources. The ships of many nations competed and fought over the whales that inhabited those seas. The fishing fleets have roamed the waters to the north of Norway in the search for a variety of fish, including cod and capelin. Norway's predominance on the archipelago and in its territorial waters is provided for, although by no means assured, by the Spitzbergen treaty. Soviet policy toward the Barents Sea is dominated by its requirement to deploy its naval forces from the Murmansk area through and within the waters. The United States government has only awakened to what has been going on in the Barents Sea and on Spitzbergen.