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Monthly Archives: June 2010 − News & Stories


Field police operative

In late June, 3 teams of field inspectors were brought to their respective working areas by the Sysselmannen. The teams consist of two persons, one police officer and one persion with a background in natural history. They are initially based in Magdalenefjord, Ny Ålesund and Isfjord, but often use huts further north and northeast, such as in Virgohamna (Danskøya) or Mushamna (Woodfjord). The main task of the teams is to control all traffic in the area, mainly sailing boats and cruise ships.

Source: Sysselmannen

Passport Control

Authorities are working on plans to introduce pass control at the airport of Longyearbyen. Spitsbergen is under Norwegian sovereignty, but has a special status due to the regulations of the Spitsbergen treaty that is in force. Since 2001, Norway is part of the Schengen system, but this does not include Spitsbergen. This can lead to problems for travellers who are registered inside the Schengen system, but who are not registered when they leave Schengen when travelling from Norway to Spitsbergen. Pass control on Longyearbyen would eliminate this problem, although it would be unpopular in Longyearbyen and Norway. Final details remain to be determined.

Source: Svalbardposten and Barents Observer

Orcanic waste mills

Most households in Longyearbyen have recently been equipped with organic waste mills. The purpose is that food waste is not supposed to increase the quickly growing waste dump in Adventdalen, but is rather intended to be shredded and released to the sea, together with the general waste water. Longyearbyen does, so far, not yet have a wastewater treatment plant. Akvaplan-Niva, a Norwegian institute for research on water, has recommended to have one established.

The organic waste mills may theoretically be a good contribution to waste reduction in Longyearbyen, but there have been frequent technical problems leading to increasing loss of popularity of the new installations.

Source: Svalbardposten

Polar bears in Longyearbyen …

… tend to be dead and stuffed. Not so the one that came in the evening of 08 June to Nybyen, the upper part of Longyearbyen. It was scared away by the police. It was real and dangerous enough for some warning shots and the helicopter was used to follow the animal over the nearby Longyear glacier and into the neighbouring valley Fardalen.

Polar bear in Longyearbyen, less dangerous than the one on Tuesday.

Polar bears in Longyearbyen

Source: local gossip; Sysselmannen

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