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Home → May, 2015

Monthly Archives: May 2015 − News & Stories


Ice

It is late in the evening, the sun is shi­ning on coast and moun­tains south of Bellsund – not a good time to spend ages with the com­pu­ter, wri­ting a lot of text. I rather spend the time watching the sce­ne­ry and loo­king for a poten­ti­al polar bear some­whe­re on shore.

A lot of ice blo­cking Horn­sund today, unex­pec­ted­ly – but beau­ti­ful. And hund­reds – no: thousands! – of Harp seals ☺ an ear­ly sea­son spe­cial­ty.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Wha­ling

The fur­ther we came north, the bet­ter the wea­ther. The stiff bree­ze eased out until the water sur­face beca­me oily, just moved by the gent­le swell, shi­ning in the evening sun. Best con­di­ti­ons to find some wha­les!

We were not the only ones in the area loo­king for wha­les, but litt­le did we know that the inten­ti­ons of the other boat that came into sight were far less peace­ful. The see­min­gly inno­cent boat Rei­ne­bru­en from Svol­vær (Lofo­ten, Nor­way) tur­ned out to be a wha­le cat­cher, with a crow’s nest and a har­poon gun on the bow, and while we were watching a young Hump­back wha­le, we heard the first shot being fired in the distance. Several more shots fol­lo­wed over the next cou­p­le of minu­tes, and we saw a smal­ler wha­le spla­shing under the bow of the wha­ler. It fought the pain of the steel har­poon in its bel­ly for 5-6 minu­tes until it died.

It is not a secret that Nor­way issu­es well bey­ond 1000 licen­ses for Min­ke wha­les to its wha­ling fleet every year, and some­ti­mes we see wha­ling ships in Nor­we­gi­an ports inclu­ding Lon­gye­ar­by­en. But see­ing a wha­ler in dead­ly action is some­thing dif­fe­rent. I had never seen that befo­re and I did not have an idea of the impres­si­on it would make on me to see how a wha­le is shot, dies and is pul­led up on deck.

The crew of the Rei­ne­bu­en tur­ned the ship several times quick­ly, obvious­ly try­ing to move the stron­gly blee­ding wha­le out of our sight. They know what the world things about this.

Final­ly they went their way and we went ours. I had a bad fee­ling in my sto­mach and weak kne­es, as if I had just beco­me wit­ness to a mur­der. Well, this was pret­ty much the case, in a wider sen­se.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Soon, two more Hump­back wha­les appeared under the mid­ni­ght sun, hap­py and ali­ve, not knowing that a slight­ly remo­ter rela­ti­ve had just died in a very bloo­dy and pain­ful way. Spi­rits on board were rising noti­ce­ab­ly. Admit­ted­ly, I was not yet up for it. The emo­tio­nal chan­ge from slaugh­ter to obser­va­ti­on of almost the same won­der­ful ani­mal was just a bit too fast for me, so I wat­ched it slight­ly mecha­ni­cal­ly, took my pho­tos and was then hap­py to finish the day.

Bear Island

29th/30th May 2015 – The­re is not­hing much to say about the cros­sing. Wind and waves made it an expe­ri­ence of limi­ted plea­su­re, and pre­sence during meals was visi­b­ly redu­ced. Well, it was not dra­ma­tic, but not real­ly popu­lar eit­her. No sightin­gs of wha­les, only small groups of dol­phins every now and then. The bet­ter that we made good speed, so we reached Bear Island alrea­dy mid-day of the 29th. We kept on the sou­the­as­tern side, as this side offe­red the best shel­ter avail­ab­le from wind and waves, and soon we had found a sui­ta­ble lan­ding site.

From the distance, Bear Island may seem a grey, empty rock in the oce­an, but a clo­ser look reve­als all the tre­a­su­res of natu­re you can ima­gi­ne of a remo­te, small island in the Arc­tic. An impres­si­ve coas­tal land­s­cape with bird cliffs, various geo­mor­pho­lo­gi­cal phe­no­me­na inclu­ding frost-pat­ter­ned ground and karst springs and so on. The fee­ling of remo­teness and expo­sure is amongst the best parts of the Bear Island expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly in quiet moments when all you hear is the wind. We spend a rather long after­noon on the island, roa­ming around from the river mouth in Ærfuglvi­ka to the sea­b­ird colo­ny at Kapp Ruth, pas­sing some small, most­ly still fro­zen lakes in flat tun­dra towards the river Jor­dbru­el­va, which we fol­lo­wed bet­ween steep snow-cove­r­ed river banks, until we retur­ned to Kapp Maria with its impres­si­ve rock cave Kvalk­jef­ten (wha­le jaw) and a huge hole in the rocky ground, through which you see the surf 15 m lower down.

A calm night at anchor in the shel­ter of the island was cer­tain­ly amongst the high­lights of the day for many.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Next morning, we crui­sed around the sou­thern end of Bear Island, whe­re natu­re has crea­ted some of the most impres­si­ve cliffs in the north Atlan­tic. The seas and winds being too high for any Zodiac ope­ra­ti­ons, we enjoy­ed the views from the ship, in the pre­sence of count­less Nort­hern ful­mars, befo­re we con­ti­nued nor­thwards, cour­se for Spits­ber­gen.

May 17th: Nor­we­gi­an Con­sti­tu­ti­on Day is also cele­bra­ted in the Arc­tic

May 17th is the Natio­nal Day of Nor­way. On this day Nor­we­gi­ans cele­bra­te the Nor­we­gi­an Con­sti­tu­ti­on which was adop­ted on May 17th in 1814 by the recent­ly estab­lis­hed Con­sti­tu­ent Assem­bly at the small place of Eids­voll in sou­thern Nor­way. A con­si­derable act for the coun­try and cou­ra­ge­ous as well, as Nor­way befo­re was gover­ned by the Danish crown for almost 300 years. Offi­cial­ly Nor­way was part of the Danish king­dom, the important posi­ti­ons were held by Danes and by the impact of cul­tu­re- and school-poli­tics Nor­we­gi­ans should beco­me Danish.

In 1814, at the end of the Napo­leo­nic Wars, as the ter­ri­to­ri­al reor­ga­niz­a­ti­on of the Scan­di­na­vi­an coun­tries was nego­tia­ted in the Trea­ty of Kiel, the Nor­we­gi­ans took the oppor­tu­ni­ty: They estab­lis­hed a natio­nal assem­bly, gave them­sel­ves a con­sti­tu­ti­on and elec­ted an own king. Yet, it did not work that easy. Nor­way was pres­sed into a uni­on with Swe­den ins­tead and the Swe­dish king also beca­me king of Nor­way in per­so­nal uni­on. But at least Nor­way was a sepa­ra­te king­dom again, the natio­nal assem­bly was trans­for­med into a par­lia­ment (Stor­ting) and the con­sti­tu­ti­on, cele­bra­ted on May 17th, was main­tai­ned. Nor­way beca­me com­ple­te­ly inde­pen­dent in 1905 when the uni­on with Swe­den was sus­pen­ded.

Tra­di­tio­nal­ly the Natio­nal Day is cele­bra­ted with a para­de inclu­ding music, lots of Nor­we­gi­an flags and a diver­si­ty of tra­di­tio­nal cos­tu­mes from the dif­fe­rent parts of the coun­try. In the capi­tal Oslo the para­de moves along Karl Johans Gate and pas­ses the Roy­al Palace. All over the coun­try peop­le rai­se the Nor­we­gi­an flag.

In the Nor­we­gi­an Arc­tic May 17th was cele­bra­ted as well, not only on Spits­ber­gen, in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, among the rese­ar­chers in Ny Åle­sund and in the mining sett­le­ment of Sveagru­va, but also at the meteo­ro­lo­gi­cal sta­ti­ons on the remo­te islands of Bjørnøya, Jan May­en and Hopen. Even the crew of the rese­arch ves­sel RV ´Lan­ce´, fro­zen in the ice north of Spits­ber­gen, orga­ni­zed a para­de: across the ice, once around the ship. After­wards the­re was a par­ty onboard. The sta­ti­on on Bjørnøya was visi­ted by the crew of the coast­guard ves­sel KV ´Har­stad´, incre­a­sing the num­ber of par­ti­ci­pants at the para­de signi­fi­cant­ly. It is also said, that they could win some new mem­bers for the Bjørnøya Nude-Bat­hing-Asso­cia­ti­on. The smal­lest May 17th cele­bra­ti­on was held on Hopen. At least with 4 per­sons (and the 4 sta­ti­on dogs) all inha­bi­tants were pre­sent.

The para­de in Lon­gye­ar­by­en stops at the war memo­ri­al.
Pho­to: © RS

nationalfeiertag-4

In Lon­gye­ar­by­en the para­de moved from the church to the city cen­ter and fur­ther to the war memo­ri­al whe­re flowers were laid down and spee­ches were held. The spea­kers were Robert Her­man­sen, for­mer CEO of the mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni and the Rus­si­an Con­sul Gene­ral in Bar­ents­burg, Jurij Grib­kov, who congra­tu­la­ted the Nor­we­gi­ans to the cele­bra­ti­on of their Con­sti­tu­ti­on. After­wards the para­de moved to the Sval­bard­hall whe­re a meal was ser­ved and the cele­bra­ti­on con­ti­nued with several events, espe­cial­ly for the child­ren. In his speech the Sys­sel­man­nen Odd Olsen Ingerø empha­si­zed Norway´s sov­er­eig­n­ty over Sval­bard and con­fir­med the vali­di­ty of the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

Trom­sø

Trom­sø, Paris of the north, tra­di­tio­nal gate­way to the Arc­tic and our step­ping stone towards Bear Island and Spits­ber­gen, pres­ents its­elf in the best of wea­ther. Visits to the muse­ums dedi­ca­ted to the Arc­tic, excur­si­ons to the view­point on Fløya and some time to relax in zivi­li­sa­ti­on, befo­re we con­ti­nue towards the Bar­ents Sea.

a3v_Tromsoe_26Mai15_104

Tin­den

Two years ago, we „dis­co­ve­r­ed“ Tin­den, an old tra­ding post on the outer coast of the Ves­terå­len islands, beau­ti­ful­ly situa­ted in a bay under a steep moun­tain, hid­den behind some small islands. We did not have any idea back then what to expect, we had just been told that it should be a nice place. Which was qui­te an under­state­ment. The old tra­ding post was aban­do­ned long time ago, but has been beau­ti­ful­ly revi­ved as a muse­um, in a simi­lar way as Port Lock­roy in Ant­arc­ti­ca. Tin­den is a small, but lovely ensem­ble of white woo­den houses, shel­ves squee­zed with ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry items, the­re is even a flower gar­den with old spe­ci­es which they had to re-gather on church­y­ards. The mana­ger of the place, Kjell, is a gre­at cha­rac­ter and a very valu­able part of the expe­ri­ence.

So this is what we could enjoy today, and to make things even bet­ter, the sun was shi­ning on the who­le set­ting, so a litt­le walk up the steep slo­pe behind the buil­dings was defi­ni­te­ly a good thing to do.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Hard to ima­gi­ne that the­re had been a storm here some mon­ths ago, strong enough to des­troy several houses here that had sur­vi­ved count­less storms during many deca­des. An irre­pla­ca­ble loss, as nobo­dy can tax or even replace all the his­to­ri­cal arte­facts lost. And I don’t real­ly want to know how strong the winds were that flat­te­ned tho­se stur­dy buil­dings. How nice is today’s light bree­ze.

By the way, some 360 degree impres­si­ons from Tin­den are alrea­dy avail­ab­le. I should make an updated ver­si­on now, as I got a sun­ny adden­dum today.

Raft­sund & Ves­terå­len

We watch the sou­thern Ves­terå­len islands pas­sing by while we are making miles to the north. Sce­nic coast­li­nes and moun­tains, sea eagles and even orcas make the after­noon a very plea­sant and inte­res­ting expe­ri­ence.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Diger­mu­len

We are cer­tain­ly not the first tou­rists in this area. The Ger­man emperor Wil­helm II. was here in 1889. If he had only spent more time tra­ve­ling and less with poli­tics, it might have saved the world a lot of trou­ble, who knows.

Des­pi­te all the trou­bles that he had with his job – his own fault! – he mana­ged to tra­vel to Nor­way qui­te a lot. And twice he made it to Diger­mu­len, a litt­le vil­la­ge – about 300 inha­bi­tants – at the sou­thern end of Raft­sund. That is the strait that sepa­ra­tes Aus­t­vå­gøya (Lofo­ten) from Hin­nøya (Ves­terå­len). The­re is a moun­tain next to Diger­mu­len that is cal­led Diger­kol­len. It is not so ter­ri­b­ly diger (big), actual­ly not at all with an alti­tu­de of 384 m, that is some­thing we can do. And nobo­dy has to car­ry up pla­tes of gra­ni­te with our names incar­ved after us. We are more than hap­py with our signa­tures in the Gip­fel­buch (what is that in Eng­lish?).

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The way up, across stones, mud and snow, takes about 1 ½ hours, with an inte­res­ting mix­tu­re of rain, sun, snow and sun again. Luck­i­ly, it remains sun­ny as we reach the top, so we can enjoy sple­ndid views of Raft­sund, Hin­nøya, Aus­t­vå­gøya and and a num­ber of smal­ler islands. An impe­ri­al view, inde­ed!

Win­ter sea­son com­ing to an end; polar bear fami­lies in Bill­efjord

Inspi­te of thawing peri­ods in April, the win­ter sea­son has las­ted for qui­te a long time. Now it is com­ing to an end. In late April, the wea­ther had final­ly sta­bi­li­zed with tem­pe­ra­tures below zero and many sun­ny days, brin­ging good tou­ring wea­ther bey­ond 17 May, the Nor­we­gi­an natio­nal day.

The spring has brought new inha­bi­tants to inner Isfjord: two polar bear fami­lies have been regu­lar­ly seen in Bill­efjord and Tem­pel­fjord, inclu­ding one with 3 cubs, a gre­at rari­ty. This very plea­sant fact brought con­tro­ver­si­al dis­cus­sions regar­ding snow mobi­le traf­fic in the­se fre­quent­ly visi­ted fjords. The Sys­sel­man­nen (local aut­ho­ri­ties) asked the public several times to exe­cu­te good self con­trol and keep traf­fic to an unavo­ida­ble mini­mum. Nevertheless, small groups were obser­ved several times too clo­se or too long near the bears.

Expe­ri­ence for examp­le from Tem­pel­fjord in 2013 shows that polar bears, inclu­ding fami­lies with young off­spring, do not necessa­ri­ly suf­fer from fre­quent traf­fic. In that spring, a mother with 2 first year cubs spent several mon­ths in Tem­pel­fjord, which was fre­quent­ly visi­ted by lar­ge num­bers of groups. Respect­ful beha­viour con­tri­bu­t­ed to the well-being of the bear fami­ly, which was gene­ral­ly not visi­b­ly affec­ted by traf­fic, but see­med to enjoy a good and healt­hy peri­od, with regu­lar hun­ting suc­cess.

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, both cubs from 2013 are most likely dead by now. One died in Bill­efjord a short time after tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on for sci­en­ti­fic rea­sons. The­re is now evi­dence for the tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on being the cau­se of the death, but the assump­ti­on is not far away.

The second one of tho­se 2 cubs was most likely the one that was shot near Fred­heim in late March 2015 by tou­rists in their camp. The bear had inju­red one per­son in a tent and was then inju­red with several bul­lets from a revol­ver. It was later shot by the poli­ce.

The­se obser­va­tions indi­ca­te that a lar­ger num­ber of well-con­trol­led tou­rists, with respect­ful beha­viour, is less of a pro­blem than a smal­ler num­ber of visi­tors (inclu­ding sci­en­tists) with more unusu­al acti­vi­ties, invol­ving a hig­her risk. An inte­res­ting impres­si­on, as the public recep­ti­on of tou­rists is gene­ral­ly much worse than that of sci­en­tists.

Cur­r­ent­ly, the grea­test public con­cern is about the polar bear fami­ly with 3 cubs. Dis­cus­sions in social net­works make it clear that the­re is public con­cern and inte­rest, at least local­ly, and the­re is litt­le tole­ran­ce for beha­viour that might dis­turb or even end­an­ger the bears. On the other hand, the mother has alrea­dy been mar­ked by sci­en­tists, which invol­ves tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on of at least the mother. It is not known in public wether the sci­en­tists used snow mobi­les or heli­co­p­ters to get wit­hin shoo­ting ran­ge, but in any way this can safe­ly be assu­med to be a trau­ma­tic expe­ri­ence for the who­le fami­ly, wit­hin a peri­od that is belie­ved to be so sen­si­ti­ve for the sur­vi­val of the young bears that the Sys­sel­man­nen asks the public to mini­mi­ze traf­fic in the same area.

Now, the snow mobi­le sea­son is over any­way, which will make life for the polar bears a bit more quiet, as indi­vi­du­al do not have the oppor­tu­ni­ty any­mo­re to get too clo­se to the bears.

Polar bear fami­ly in Bill­efjord, April 2015

a3j_Billefjord_28April15_102

Hei­møya

It is part of the fun to dis­co­ver new pla­ces. If you haven’t been to a place, then it may be a good rea­son to go the­re one day. After an inte­res­ting after­noon – some­ti­mes the wind needs about a minu­te up here to turn 180 degrees, which is inte­res­ting for a ship under sail – we came to Hei­møya. A litt­le island, sepa­ra­ted from its litt­le neigh­bou­ring island by a litt­le chan­nel. The Nor­we­gi­ans have obvious­ly dis­co­ve­r­ed Hei­møya as a good place to build wee­kend houses, so the­re is qui­te a few of them the­re. Is that the rea­son for the name, or was it the other way around?

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

We still have a real sun­set and, accord­in­gly, a real evening with real evening light.

Nusfjord

Nusfjord is the first port of call for us, so the rest of the night is calm, apart from the slight­ly dis­har­mo­nic music of sin­ging fen­ders. A very plea­sant sur­pri­se for most on board to wake up on the­se lovely sur­roun­dings. Nusfjord is kind of a muse­um vil­la­ge, a time cap­su­le that moves the visi­tor back to the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, as you are wal­king into the old „Land­han­del“ or around the litt­le natu­ral har­bour with its tra­di­tio­nal ror­buer, simp­le woo­den buil­dings whe­re fishe­ry workers were accom­mo­da­ted perio­di­cal­ly in the old days. Kit­ti­wa­key are making the same noi­se today as they did 100 years ago. And the rain sho­wers make you as wet as they did 100 years ago, Gore Tex or not.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

As a final high­light, Cap­tain Joa­chim is navi­ga­ting Anti­gua around the litt­le island of Bratt­hol­men, through a sce­nic natu­ral chan­nel. A minia­tu­re ver­si­on of Troll­fjord, kind of a warm-up exer­cise. Per­fect­ly enjoy­ed from the best place, up on the mast ☺

Bodø

Yeeha – today I am star­ting my nort­hern sai­ling sea­son! The 3 mast bar­ken­ti­ne Anti­gua is wai­t­ing in the har­bour of Bodø in north Nor­way. She has taken 2 weeks to sail up here from Ham­burg. I am covering the same distance a bit hig­her and fas­ter.

A day later, the inter­na­tio­nal group comes on board. Some lan­guage mathe­ma­tics: Ger­man + Dut­ch = Eng­lish.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

A gent­le sou­thwes­ter­ly bree­ze is blowing, while we are lea­ving the har­bour of Bodø, stea­ming into Ves­t­fjord. 50 nau­ti­cal miles of open water bet­ween here and Rei­ne on Mos­ken­esøya, one of the sou­thern Lofo­ten islands. Soon, the sails are up. The sea is mode­ra­te, but enough for some on the first evening. Others enjoy sai­ling into the evening sun, while the famous Lofo­ten wall („Lofot­ve­g­gen“) is slow­ly appearing out of a cloud.

Rus­sia pro­tests against Nor­we­gi­an oil deve­lo­p­ment in the Bar­ents Sea

Rus­sia is using every oppor­tu­ni­ty to chal­len­ge the Nor­we­gi­an government in the Arc­tic. Alrea­dy in ear­ly March, the Rus­si­an ambassa­dor has filed a sharp diplo­ma­tic note to the Nor­we­gi­an minis­try of for­eign affairs to pro­test against the ope­ning of blocks for oil and gas in the Bar­ents Sea.

Accord­ing to the Rus­si­ans, the area in ques­ti­on should be gover­ned by the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty, which would give other coun­tries more rights to make use of poten­ti­al resour­ces. The fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment would, at least, not be a domestic Nor­we­gi­an issue any­mo­re.

The Rus­si­an rea­so­ning, howe­ver, lea­ves a mixed impres­si­on at best: it is argued that Spits­ber­gen has a shelf area on its own, to which the rele­vant area belongs. Hence, the area should be trea­ted as part of Spits­ber­gen, accord­ing to the Rus­si­an government, and not as part of the Nor­we­gi­an eco­no­mic zone.

It is com­mon­ly accep­ted, as is illus­tra­ted in the image in this arti­cle, that the­re is one con­ti­nuous shelf from main­land Nor­way up to Spits­ber­gen, and this shelf belongs to Nor­way. This is cer­tain­ly the per­spec­ti­ve of the Nor­we­gi­an government, which is cer­tain­ly shared by the Rus­si­an government when it comes to their own shelf are­as north of Rus­sia. The­re is no geo­lo­gi­cal or juri­di­cal rea­son to defi­ne a sepa­ra­te “Spits­ber­gen Shelf”.

The con­ti­nen­tal shelf in the Bar­ents Sea (light blue) is com­mon­ly con­si­de­red one con­ti­nuous shelf. The arrow marks the posi­ti­on of Bear Island (Bjørnøya).

Kontinentalschelf Barentssee

Source: Alas­ka Dis­patch News: Rus­sia pro­tests oil deve­lo­p­ment in Sval­bard zone

Store Nor­ske bai­lout

The Nor­we­gi­an coal mining com­pa­ny in Spits­ber­gen, Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni (SNSK), has been in dif­fi­cul­ties for a while (see Decem­ber news: Coal mining not pro­fi­ta­ble: Store Nor­ske cuts 100 jobs). The low world mar­ket pri­ces for coal are the main rea­son. The SNSK has alrea­dy cut a lar­ge num­ber of jobs, which is rea­son for ner­vous­ness in a place as small as Lon­gye­ar­by­en, which may suf­fer stron­gly from a signi­fi­cant loss of jobs, both eco­no­mi­c­al­ly and social­ly.

Hence, a decisi­on by the Nor­we­gi­an government comes as a reli­ef for many in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: As minis­ter of eco­no­mic affairs Moni­ca Mæland announ­ced during a press con­fe­rence, SNSK will get a credit of 500 mil­li­on Nor­we­gi­an kro­ner (about 60 mil­li­on Euro). The com­pa­ny had asked for 450 mil­li­on NOK, less than it will actual­ly get now.

Mæland made it clear that the credit does not come without some con­di­ti­ons: it is not to be taken as a gua­ran­tee for the long-term exis­tence of coal mining in Spits­ber­gen. Future government poli­tics in Sval­bard, which set the frame­work for the deve­lo­p­ment, are to be defi­ned in a government poli­cy state­ment (“Sval­bard­mel­ding”), which comes every 5-10 years. The next Sval­bard­mel­ding is cur­r­ent­ly under pre­pa­ra­ti­on in the minis­try of jus­ti­ce. The cur­rent credit still needs appro­val from the Stor­ting (Nor­we­gi­an par­lia­ment). And the land pro­per­ty of the SNSK, which is an important local land owner, is to be trans­fer­red to the government. This shall streng­t­hen Nor­we­gi­an sov­er­eig­n­ty and is likely to be more of a sym­bo­lic cha­rac­ter, rather than having major prac­ti­cal con­se­quen­ces.

The credit for SNSK has led to com­mon reli­ef in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Coal mining in Spits­ber­gen: an indus­try with future or only with a lot of histo­ry?

coal mining, Spitsbergen

Source: NRK

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