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Daily Archives: 25. October 2011 − News & Stories

Narcotica abuse in Longyearbyen

In Longyearbyen, it is an open secret that drugs beyond legal ones are being consumed by locals. During the last weekend, the Sysselmannen together with the Norwegian mainland police have caught 9 persons in connection to drug abuse, 2 of them also for dealing. All 9 are locals.

Haze in the arctic: not always a pure nature experience.


Source: Sysselmannen

Temperate water in Spitsbergen’s fjords

Temperate Atlantic water has entered the fjords on the west coast of Spitsbergen, resulting in a decreasing chance for a large-scale solid ice-cover in coastal waters compared to last winter. The relatively strong ice-formation of last year may be amongst the reasons: the cold, salty water that sinks down gives way to inflowing Atlantic watermasses.

In the end, the wind conditions are decisive for fjord ice formation.

Fjordeisbildung braucht ruhiges, kaltes Wetter. Hier Eis in Auflösung im Juni, Liefdefjord.

Temperate water in Spitsbergen’s fjords - data-lazy-src=

Compulsory pilotage?

The Norwegian ministry for fishery and coast has plans to introduce compulsory pilotage in Svalbard for certain ships, such as passenger vessels with a length of 70 metres or more and a width of 20 metres or more, possibly also smaller ones, 24 metres long or more. Background is a report that states that cruise tourism involves a „serious environmental risk“, such as oil leakage in case of groundings.

Before relevant legislation may come into force, it has to go through a hearing process.

Ship aground: always a bad thing. Here the former coastguard ship Kongsøy on well charted rocks near Smeerenburg.

Compulsory pilotage? - Kongsoy

Source: Svalbardposten

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre elected

Big Spitsbergen policy comes from Oslo and partly from the Sysselmannen in Longyearbyen, who is appointed by the government in Oslo. Longyearbyen Lokalstyre has rather the function of community council. During elections on October 9 and 10, 907 out of 1592 voters have elected the new Lokalstyre. Arbeiderpartiet (Socialists) won with by far with 43,7 % of all votes.

The political differences between the 5 parties in Longyearbyen are rather small. The most colourful programme may be that of the „Konsekvenslista“, which has 2 elected members in the Lokalstyre. Their main goal of closing the Lokalstyre is considered chanceless even by themselves, but they see their main task in being political watchdogs.

Longyearbyen: In 100 years from company town to local democracy.

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre elected - data-lazy-src=


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