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Home → October, 2009

Monthly Archives: October 2009 − News & Stories

Begin­ning of the polar night

Sin­ce appro­xi­m­ate­ly 24 Octo­ber, the sun can not be seen any­mo­re abo­ve the hori­zon. The­re will still be twi­light at noon for ano­ther cou­ple of weeks, until the polar night comes for real. It is safe to expect the sun back abo­ve the hori­zon near the end of Febru­ary.

Moon­light in Bore­buk­ta on the north side of Isfjord in Octo­ber.

Beginning of the polar night

Source: not nee­ded. This is just how it is.

New regu­la­ti­ons: His­to­ri­cal sites declared off limits, ban on hea­vy oil in Natio­nal Parks

After a long and rather con­tro­ver­si­al dis­cus­sion, Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties have deci­ded to decla­re 8 his­to­ri­cal sites in the Spits­ber­gen archi­pe­la­go off limits, start­ing 01 Janu­ary 2010.

The sites are:

  • Ebelt­oft­ham­na (Kross­fjord): The remains of the wha­ling sta­ti­on south of the lagoon.
  • Lik­ne­set (Smee­ren­burg­fjord): Spitsbergen’s lar­gest gra­vey­ard from the wha­ling peri­od.
  • Ytre Nor­skøya: the  gra­vey­ard and the blub­ber ovn fou­da­ti­ons near the south coast. The rest of the island remains acces­si­ble.
  • Hau­de­gen (Rijpfjord, Nord­aus­t­land): The WWII wea­ther sta­ti­on and a safe­ty zone around it may not be inte­red.
  • Habe­nicht­buk­ta (Edgeøya): The com­bi­ned Whaling/Pomor site
  • Zieg­lerøya, Delit­schøya, Spekkhol­men (near Edgeøya): The­se small islands with their many his­to­ri­cal sites will be com­ple­te­ly off limits.
  • Halv­må­neøya (near Edgeøya): Only the famous old trap­per sta­ti­on Bjør­ne­borg can be visi­ted, the rest of the island is off limits.
  • Mid­ter­huk­ham­na (Bell­sund): No access to the small hut (built in 1898) and the near-by remains of the 17th cen­tu­ry wha­ling sta­ti­on.

For more details such as a map of the sites, see, Sys­sel­man­nen.

It has also been deci­ded to ban the use of hea­vy (cru­de) oil in the three lar­gest Natio­nal Parks in Spits­ber­gen. Hea­vy oil is a com­mon fuel type for lar­ge ships, but is very dan­ge­rous for the envi­ron­ment in case of acci­dents.

As excep­ti­ons, it can still be used until 01 Janu­ary 2015 on the shor­test safe rou­tes to Sveagru­va, Ny Åle­sund and into Mag­da­le­nefjord.

A simi­lar ban is in force sin­ce 2007 in the lar­ge Natu­re Reser­ves in eas­tern parts of the archi­pe­la­go.

This part of the new regu­la­ti­ons is wel­co­med by con­ser­va­ti­on groups.

Tou­rists careful­ly visit a whaler’s gra­ve from the 17th cen­tu­ry at Lik­ne­set in nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen.
This will not be pos­si­ble any­mo­re in the future, start­ing 01 Janu­ary 2010.

New regulations: Historical sites declared off limits, ban on heavy oil in National Parks

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen


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