It was known as Murmansk Sea till 1853. The contemporary name was given in honor of Willem Barents, Dutch explorer of Arctic, who came to a tragic end in his third Arctic campaign near Novaya Zemlya. Despite the fact, that the sea is located in high latitudes, it never freezes up because of impact of warm North-Atlantic stream (Gulfstream). This stream also forms exceptional variety of fauna of the Barents Sea.