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Home* News and Stories → Fishe­ry zone around Spits­ber­gen

Fishe­ry zone around Spits­ber­gen

In Sep­tem­ber, a Nor­we­gi­an coast­guard ship brought a Ger­man traw­ler up near Hopen. The fishing ship had too much had­dock in its car­go. The fishing com­pa­ny got a fine of 55000 NOK (ca. 7500 Euro), but did not accept the fine.

The point is not the eco­no­mi­c­al­ly irrele­vant fine, but the princi­pal ques­ti­on of the fishe­ry zone around Spits­ber­gen: is the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty valid in the 200 mile zone, which other­wi­se gives exclu­si­ve eco­no­mi­c­al rights to the sov­er­eign sta­te? The Nor­we­gi­an ans­wer is a clear no: accord­ing to Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties, the Trea­ty, which gives all signa­to­ry coun­tries and their citi­zens equal rights of access and eco­no­mic use of natu­ral resour­ces, is valid only wit­hin the 12 mile zone. Accord­ing to this view­point, Nor­way has exclu­si­ve rights wit­hin the 200 mile zone, out­side the 12 mile zone. Most coun­tries do, howe­ver, agree, that the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty, which is still valid, does not give Nor­way exclu­si­ve rights to any mari­ti­me area. The clear pur­po­se of the Trea­ty, signed in 1920, was to give all signa­to­ries equal access under Nor­we­gi­an admi­nis­tra­ti­on. The Ger­man ship owner, “Deut­sche Fische­rei­uni­on”, is now pre­pa­red to take this ques­ti­on of princi­pal impor­t­ance to Nor­we­gi­an courts.

Rus­si­an traw­ler off Horn­sund. Its pre­sence is based on the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty.

Fishery zone around Spitsbergen - Russian Trawler

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten (4412)

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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