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Home* News and Stories → Traffic ban in Tempelfjord, Billefjord and Rindersbukta

Traffic ban in Tempelfjord, Billefjord and Rindersbukta

The Sysselmannen has decided to ban motorised traffic from the fjord ice in Tempelfjord (inner Isfjord), Billefjord (near Pyramiden) and Rindersbukta (in Van Mijenfjord). The ban is based on the assumed disturbance of wildlife by motorised traffic. All of these places are popular destinations for snow mobile trips from Longyearbyen. Ringed seals need the fjord ice currently to give birth to their offspring, and polar bears, which have been seen regularly in recent times in all these places, have accordingly an important hunting season to build up fat reserves. The authorities assume that the total disturbance by motorised traffic is too much for the wildlife to carry on with their important respective businesses.

Until 01 Juni – covering the complete remaining winter season – all motorized traffic is banned from the fjord ice in these areas. There are exceptions on the shortest safe routes in Billefjord from Nordenskiöldbreen to Pyramiden, which is part of the regular trip from Longyerabyen to Pyramiden, and in Tempelfjord, making it possible to cross the ice on the shortest safe route west of Kapp Schoultz to Kapp Murdoch. Maps showing the details are available on the Sysselmannen’s website.

Non-motorised traffic is not concerned.

In 2018, the fjord ice has developed better than in recent years. It is the first time in several years that Tempelfjord can be crossed regularly and safely.

Appearently wildlife is not much disturbed by careful, sensitive traffic by guided groups or careful individuals. Ruthless behaviour of careless individuals or groups is another matter and hard to control.

The Sysselmannen reminds the public that it is everybody’s indivdual responsibility to assess the safety of the ice for traffic.

Traffic ban Tempelfjord

Glacier front in Tempelfjord: popular destination for excursions, but currently off limits for motorised traffic.

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last modification: 2018-04-24 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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