The dataset includes water column measurements of spectral beam attenuation and absorption coefficients by non-water constituents. Measurements were collected in May 2021 during cruise 2021704, Q2, in the northern Barents Sea as part of the Nansen Legacy project. The WET Labs ac-s spectrophotometer (Seabird Scientific) were used to collect in situ profiles, with a constant descent velocity (∼0.3 m/s) down to a depth of 350 m, or ~10 m below the ocean floor. Measurements were corrected for temperature and salinity effects. The proportional method was used to correct the scattering error of the absorption measurements, assuming zero absorption at 709 nm. The measurements were binned with 2.0 m (dbar) spacing, applying the median to average the data. See the referenced article for more information.