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Yearly Archives: 2024 − News & Stories


An evening in Advent­da­len

An evening in Advent­da­len in June can be a litt­le jour­ney to para­di­se, espe­ci­al­ly for tho­se inte­res­ted in birds. Start at the com­mon eider colo­ny at the dogyard near Lon­gye­ar­by­en (an easy walk in town and loca­ted in the area that is gene­ral­ly con­side­red polar­bear-safe, cer­tain­ly at the time of year when the ducks are bree­ding the­re). Just sit down some­whe­re and spend a litt­le while quiet­ly and you will see what I mean.

The cur­rent impres­si­on on the wide tun­dra are­as near­by and a bit fur­ther into Advent­da­len is a slight­ly dif­fe­rent one. It is just an impres­si­on, total­ly sel­ec­ti­ve in space and time, but the impres­si­on is that the­re are far fewer geese gra­zing now on the tun­dra in lower Advent­da­len than the­re used to be in pre­vious years.

A com­pa­ri­son. The first pic­tu­re is from July 2022 …

Geese in Adventdalen, 2022

Geese in Advent­da­len, 2022.

… and the second pic­tu­re was taken on Mon­day (10 June 2024).

Geese in Adventdalen, 2024

Geese (or not) in Advent­da­len, June 2024.

Was it the bird flu?

The loca­ti­on of both pho­tos is not exact­ly the same (the­re is a few kilo­me­t­res bet­ween them, but both places used to have ple­nty of geese in the past), June is not July and 2024 is obvious­ly not 2022. So, just to make it clear again – it is just an impres­si­on. No data, no sci­ence. But I found the impres­si­on quite strong and it is that the­re are fewer geese around. May­be they alre­a­dy went for other are­as in the spring of 2024? The­re was litt­le snow in May, that might be a dif­fe­rence. Or was it the bird (avi­an) flu? This dise­a­se may have play­ed a role, as it is repor­ted to have kil­led about 1/3 of the Sval­bard popu­la­ti­on of Bar­na­cle geese, amoun­ting to 13,200 birds as Scotland’s Natu­re Agen­cy im wro­te in Okto­ber 2023. A stag­ge­ring num­ber.

Many spe­ci­es of smal­ler birds

But a clo­ser look reve­als a lot of life, espe­ci­al­ly among­st smal­ler birds, as the fol­lo­wing litt­le sel­ec­tion of pho­tos may show.

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

First row, left: leu­ci­stic Bar­na­cle geese are regu­lar­ly seen, alt­hough very low in num­bers. Midd­le: dun­lin. Right: Red throa­ted diver
Second row, left to right: Eura­si­an teal, reck-necked phalar­ope, snow bun­ting.

The­re were also some king eiders, but we saw them “only” in flight that time.

Espe­ci­al­ly Eura­si­an teal and reck-necked phalar­ope are among­st spe­ci­es that are not seen every day and ever­y­whe­re in Spits­ber­gen. Lower Advent­da­len has an impres­si­ve ran­ge of spe­ci­es, well worth a visit for bird lovers, and natu­re lovers in gene­ral.

From Eidem­buk­ta to Ymer­buk­ta and Lon­gye­ar­by­en

We star­ted the day in the love­ly bay Eidem­buk­ta on the west coast with its wide tun­dra plains. Suns­hi­ne, blue sky, bree­ding geese (keep your distance), reinde­er (don’t move, they might be curious and come pret­ty clo­se), views on gla­ciers, lagoons and morai­nes. A won­derful part of Spits­ber­gen, very dif­fe­rent from the steep, rocky, hea­vi­ly gla­cia­ted are­as fur­ther north which curr­ent­ly still have much more of a win­ter appearance.

Later we con­tin­ued into Ymer­buk­ta, our final stop in Spitsbergen’s beau­tiful natu­re, still with some­thing near 2 kilo­me­t­res of ice bet­ween the gla­cier and open water.

On the way back to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, we roun­ded things off with a pas­sa­ge near Gru­mant­by­en, and later we went along­side in the har­bour of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Tho­se who wan­ted to were still ear­ly enough to round the day off in the local bre­wery clo­se the har­bour – the world’s nor­t­hern­most bre­wery.

So a won­derful jour­ney came to its end. The wea­ther had lar­ge­ly been real­ly good, the spi­rits high, the wild­life was the­re … gre­at stuff! Big thanks to all who have con­tri­bu­ted to this, first of cour­se the crew of the good sai­ling ship Anti­gua! And of cour­se ever­y­bo­dy else who was part of this trip and who came with enthu­si­asm and curiou­si­ty and good spi­rits. Save tra­vels back home, and see you again next time! ☺️

Pho­to gal­lery – From Eidem­buk­ta to Ymer­buk­ta and Lon­gye­ar­by­en – 06th June 2024

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

From Ny-Åle­sund to For­lands­und

What a day! Full suns­hi­ne, and sum­mer in the air. The air tem­pe­ra­tu­re was 5 degrees cen­ti­gra­de, but it felt like 20 🙂 the mor­ning in Ny-Åle­sund was pure plea­su­re.

Later we sai­led south into For­lands­und. We still had wal­ru­ses on the wish­list. Well, no pro­blem …

Gal­lery – From Ny-Åle­sund to For­lands­und – 06th June 2024

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

In Kross­fjord

Waking up in Kross­fjord with flat calm water and mir­ror images is a pret­ty good way to start the day 🙂 alt­hough it is pain­ful­ly obvious here how dra­ma­ti­cal­ly the gla­ciers are retrea­ting, both smal­ler ones such as For­bes­breen and the migh­ty Lil­lie­höök­breen. Still, they are huge­ly impres­si­ve. A gre­at place!

Later, we got to see some Brünich’s guil­l­emots and even some puf­fins pret­ty clo­se-up in Fjor­ten­de Juli­buk­ta. Good stuff. Then we finis­hed the day in style in the har­bour of Ny-Åle­sund.

Gal­lery – In Kross­fjord – 05th June 2024

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

Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen

A calm night at anchor is always a good thing, espe­ci­al­ly in beau­tiful Hol­miabuk­ta and accom­pa­nied by the mating call of rin­ged seals, a very spe­cial sound that you can only hear at this time of year when the ship is ancho­red and the engi­ne is off.

Fug­le­son­gen can make get­ting off and on again on the shore a chall­enge, but what you get in return can be stun­ning. You get clo­se to the soul of the Arc­tic – in shape of count­less litt­le auks. The place is so full with life.

Later, the maje­s­tic Fuglefjord pre­sen­ted its­elf in the most beau­tiful suns­hi­ne. What a plea­su­re! A polar bear in Kob­befjord roun­ded the day off.

Gale­rie – Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen – 04th June 2024

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

In Raud­fjord

The days are full and beau­tiful, and the­re is not much time to wri­te. The wea­ther God is cle­ar­ly on our side. A litt­le bit of fog just added to the atmo­sphe­re, and then the sun came out in full sple­ndor in inner Raud­fjord. The ice was brea­king up in Ayerfjord, some­thing that cle­ar­ly bene­fit­ted bio­lo­gi­cal pro­duc­ti­vi­ty, and the table was laid for huge num­bers of Brünich’s guil­l­emots and seve­ral Min­ke wha­les.

Pho­to gal­lery – In Raud­fjord – 03rd June 2024

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

Ice – 02nd June 2024

We had alre­a­dy cover­ed a lot of distance to the north so we were on Spitsbergen’s north coast this mor­ning, rea­dy to sail for the ice. And so we did. We rea­ched the ice edge after a cou­ple of hours at 80°31’N. What a won­derful icy world! That’s were we spent the next cou­ple of hours.

Then we went south again, with a per­fect gent­le sai­ling wind. All sails went up, one by one. Beau­tiful, that’s how we love it!

Gal­lery – Ice – 02nd June 2024

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

Lon­gye­ar­by­en to Smee­ren­burg­fjord – 01 June 2024

Here we go, start­ing with SV Anti­gua in Spits­ber­gen!

Loo­king at the wea­ther fore­cast, we deci­ded to get north quick­ly, even though that meant sai­ling the first night inclu­ding some bum­py stret­ches. Next mor­ning, we wan­ted to go for our first landing in Engelskbuk­ta, only to see a polar bear coming out of the water exact­ly whe­re we wan­ted to go – what an ama­zing start to the day and the trip!

Under sails, we con­tin­ued nor­thwards, alt­hough the swell did not exact­ly make this pas­sa­ge the grea­test bit of sai­ling fun ever. So ever­y­bo­dy quite enjoy­ed tou­ch­ing solid ground later that day in Bjørn­ham­na.

Gal­lery – Lon­gye­ar­by­en to Smee­ren­burg­fjord – 31st May / 01st June 2024

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

New govern­men­tal Sval­bard-decla­ra­ti­on

The Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment has pre­sen­ted a new “Sval­bard­mel­ding”, a new govern­ment poli­cy state­ment for Sval­bard poli­tics for the upco­ming years. It is the first one sin­ce 2016.

Streng­thening Lon­gye­ar­by­en as an attrac­ti­ve place to live for Nor­we­gi­an fami­lies will be a focus for the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment. Ano­ther one will be bet­ter con­trol of cri­ti­cal infra­struc­tu­re, cer­tain­ly inclu­ding Longyearbyen’s ener­gy sup­p­ly. Bet­ter (but not neces­s­a­ri­ly more) flats are ano­ther poli­ti­cal goal, and so is streng­thening employ­ment rights. Svalbard’s sci­ence land­scape will see a “sci­ence office”.

More details will have to wait a while. We left Lon­gye­ar­by­en in the after­noon with good old SV Anti­gua and we are loo­king for­ward to some beau­tiful days in nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen. News will have to wait a while, but the tra­vel blog should get some updates over the next cou­ple of days 🙂

Polar fox birth on film

The Nor­we­gi­an Insti­tu­te for Natu­re Rese­arch (NINA) has film­ed a polar fox mother giving birth to 8 cute litt­le fox babies. This remar­kab­le event took place in cap­ti­vi­ty in main­land Nor­way, within a pro­ject desi­gned to release polar foxes into the wild.

Click hie­re to access a short video on You­tube show­ing seg­ments of the birth. It is real­ly worth see­ing, even if you don’t under­stand the Nor­we­gi­an comm­ents (it is about the researcher’s inte­rest to learn more about sur­vi­val rates in and out­side the den).

Fur­therm­mo­re, the­re is a live­stream from the arti­fi­ci­al den. Don’t miss it while the­re is still some action in the­re! 🦊🐱🐱🐱🤩

P.S. in case the abo­ve link to the live­stream does not work, try to access the one on NINA’s web­site. It appears to chan­ge some­ti­mes.

polar foxes, Ny-Ålesund

Polar foxes near Ny-Åle­sund: pro­ba­b­ly siblings. Pho­to taken in August, seve­ral months after they were born (sym­bo­lic image).

Reinde­er with rabies near Ny-Åle­sund

A reinde­er was obser­ved near Ny-Åle­sund in ear­ly May that show­ed unu­su­al beha­viour that poin­ted towards rabies, inclu­ding part­ly para­ly­sed hind legs. The ani­mal was later, howe­ver, not found again so a rabies infec­tion could not be con­firm­ed alt­hough it appears likely.

Reindeer, rabies

Rabies is dan­ge­rous both for ani­mals and humans (sym­bo­lic image).

Rabies out­breaks have been recor­ded seve­ral times in Sval­bard. The patho­gen may for exam­p­le tra­vel long distances with polar foxes that can migra­te on sea ice. Long-distance migra­ti­ons such as from Rus­sia to Spits­ber­gen or from Spits­ber­gen to Cana­da is pos­si­ble. Dif­fe­rent mammal spe­ci­es such as foxes, reinde­er, seals and dogs may be affec­ted, and the dise­a­se can be very dan­ge­rous also for humans. It is gene­ral­ly stron­gly advi­sed not to touch any dead ani­mals.

Distance regu­la­ti­ons for polar bears in force from 2025

As expec­ted, the Nor­we­gi­an Par­lia­ment has pas­sed new regu­la­ti­ons regar­ding mini­mum distances to be kept from polar bears (and other stuff). The new rules will thus come into force in 2025.

This means that a mini­mum distance of 300 m is requi­red to be kept from any polar bear, regard­less of the cir­cum­s­tances. If a polar bear is dis­co­ver­ed within this distance or if it comes clo­ser (swim­ming or wal­king on ice or land), then you have to move away. This includes boats that are ancho­red. During spring (01 March – 30 June), the mini­mum distance is 500 met­res.

This is valid any­whe­re in Nor­we­gi­an waters such as Svalbard’s 12 mile zone.

Polar bear, distance

A com­mon way to obser­ve a polar bear is from a ship. In the case, the bear was curious and it had deci­ded to approach the ship. No dis­tur­ban­ce or risk invol­ved.
Nevert­hel­ess for­bidden in Nor­we­gi­an waters from 2025.

Com­ment

The issue has, as you might ima­gi­ne, been mat­ter for a hea­ted public deba­te for some time, which has been reflec­ted on this site more than once. The­re is no need to go into detail here again. Many, inclu­ding a num­ber of peo­p­le with signi­fi­cant rele­vant expe­ri­ence, have expres­sed that the new regu­la­ti­ons are rub­bish, to put it blunt­ly. This includes this aut­hor. The new rules will do litt­le for ani­mal pro­tec­tion or to pre­vent ris­ky situa­tions, but they will great­ly dama­ge the tou­rism and film indus­try. The regu­la­ti­ons in force so far for­bid approa­ching a polar bear in any way that would invol­ve a risk of dis­tur­ban­ce or even dan­ger to ani­mal or peo­p­le, and that is good enough. As far as the­re were pro­blems, they were not due to a lack of regu­la­ti­on but rather a lack of con­trol and enforce­ment. The lack of con­trol and enforce­ment will con­ti­nue in the future, but from 2025 on exis­ting meaningful regu­la­ti­on will be repla­ced with over­re­gu­la­ti­on.

Dan­ge­rous situa­tions occur often in con­nec­tion to camps or huts, and the new regu­la­ti­ons will not make a dif­fe­rence here.

Ice in Advent­fjord, spring in Advent­da­len

Some impres­si­ons from Longyearbyen’s near sur­roun­dings, whe­re the snow began to dis­ap­pear quite rapidly in ear­ly May. But the­re was quite a lot of drift ice in Advent­fjord (and not only the­re) in ear­ly May, much to the delight of many in Lon­gye­ar­by­en who enjoy­ed the views.

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

The two gulls are les­ser black-backed gulls (that’s what I think, at least; gulls are a bit of a sci­ence), quite rare birds in Spits­ber­gen.

Mean­while, the geese have arri­ved and gather on snow-free tun­dra are­as in and near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The­re are more and more of them every day, a beau­tiful time for bir­ders and natu­re lovers.

“Ice in Advent Bay”: 1896 and 2024

The ice in Advent­fjord remin­ded me much of an old image from 1896. This (below) is how the Eng­lish­man Mar­tin Con­way saw Advent­fjord – Lon­gye­ar­by­en did not exist back then, but the­re was a hotel at Hotell­ne­set, not far from whe­re the air­port is today.

Con­way and his group were the first ones to cross Spits­ber­gen over land from Advent Bay, as it was known back then, to the east coast. Later he wro­te the clas­sic “The first crossing of Spits­ber­gen”, which is high­ly recom­men­ded by the pre­sent aut­hor.

Ice in Adventfjord, Conway 1896

“Ice in Advent Bay”. This is how Mar­tin Con­way saw Advent­fjord in 1896.
It loo­ked very simi­lar in ear­ly May 2024.

17th May in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

17th of May is the Nor­we­gi­an natio­nal day, a big day that is cele­bra­ted ever­y­whe­re in Nor­way with flaggs, pro­ces­si­ons and cul­tu­ral events.

Also in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Here are some impres­si­ons from the cen­tral event, the assem­bly on the “Tor­get” (squa­re) with spee­ches and sub­se­quent pro­ces­si­on. In addi­ti­on, the­re was a ran­ge of other events from com­me­mo­ra­ti­ons to an evening in the cul­tu­re house with music etc.

Visit from Barents­burg, spee­ches trans­la­ted to Rus­si­an

The­re were at least some visi­tors from the neigh­bou­ring Rus­si­an sett­le­ment of Barents­burg, name­ly a group of child­ren who con­tri­bu­ted with sin­ging to the morning’s church ser­vice. Other than the children’s escorts, the­re was no adult dele­ga­ti­on as no offi­ci­al repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from Barents­burg were invi­ted. All spee­ches were were trans­la­ted into Rus­si­an. During the cen­tral assembling, Lokals­ty­re­le­der (“mayor”) Ter­je Aune­vik found sui­ta­ble words addres­sing the back­ground of the day’s cele­bra­ti­ons which empha­si­ze fami­ly-fri­end­ly events, child­rens’ pro­ce­si­ons and cul­tu­re in con­trast to mili­ta­ry para­des, cele­bra­ting demo­cra­cy and free­dom rather than mili­ta­ry vic­to­ries such as cer­tain neigh­bou­ring count­ries. Wit­hout expli­ci­te­ly men­tio­ning Rus­sia or the Rus­si­an war of aggres­si­on in the Ukrai­ne, but cle­ar­ly refer­ring to the­se, Aune­vik unmist­aka­b­ly high­ligh­ted the importance of demo­cra­cy, free­dom and peace.

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

The­re may have been tho­se indi­vi­du­als in the crowd who sil­ent­ly and pos­si­bly not wit­hout some sad­ness thought of the blow local demo­cra­cy in Lon­gye­ar­by­en had suf­fe­r­ed quite recent­ly when non-Nor­we­gi­an resi­dents were depri­ved of their voting rights.

Sami sym­bols

The last pic­tu­re shows a Sami natio­nal cos­tu­me (“same­kof­te”) and flagg. It was not too long ago that public dis­play of such Sami sym­bols on the natio­nal day was accept­ed. Just 10 years ago, it was allo­wed but often seen as pro­vo­ca­ti­ve and hence still mat­ter of a some­ti­mes loud and more or less hea­ted public deba­te. Lon­gye­ar­by­en has a small num­ber of inha­bi­tants with Sami roots (in an ever­y­day con­text, most will per­cei­ve them as Nor­we­gi­ans, which is true but not the enti­re sto­ry).

Pro­per­ty for sale in Recher­chefjord

It is almost temp­ting to wri­te “Spits­ber­gen about to beco­me Chi­ne­se”, but no, that is not the level we are working at here. That would be non­sen­se, alt­hough you might almost have belie­ved it, loo­king at some recent head­lines.

Pro­per­ty in Sval­bard: that’s how it star­ted

We have to go back to the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry for a moment. Spits­ber­gen was no man’s land and com­pa­nies, many small and a few lar­ger ones, came and clai­med rights, thin­king mining would be a way to make a for­tu­ne up north. Most com­pa­nies were far too small and did not have the expe­ri­ence or the funds to start mining at indus­tri­al level, but some did, such as John Mun­ro Longyear’s Arc­tic Coal Com­pa­ny which foun­ded Lon­gye­ar­by­en (then known as Lon­gyear City) in 1906.

Recherchefjord

60 sqa­re km of pro­per­ty are now on offer in Recher­chefjord – for 300 mil­li­on Euro.

Many of the small com­pa­nies quick­ly ran out of money, and some of them sold their claims to others. Many of the claims were over­lap­ping. It took years to sort this mess out, a pro­cess that was requi­red to be finis­hed befo­re the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty could enter force in 1925.

Com­pa­nies con­tin­ued to sell their various pro­per­ties also after 1925, and so did suc­ces­sors and heirs. Often it had beco­me clear that the­re would never be any mining or other kind of land use befo­re land or claims would be sold. Usual­ly the Nor­we­gi­an sta­te secu­red pro­per­ties and mining rights to get Svalbard’s land are­as under con­trol. By now, 99 % of Svalbard’s ground are owned by the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment. The Rus­si­an sta­te-owned mining com­pa­ny Trust Arc­ti­cu­gol owns some smal­ler land are­as in Isfjord (Barents­burg, Colesdalen/Grumant, Pyra­mi­den, Erd­mann­flya) – and then the­re is Kul­spids AS, one of many com­pa­nies that were foun­ded in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry to explo­re and exploit mine­ral resour­ces.

Kul­spids AS

Kul­spids AS secu­red a land area of 60 squa­re kilo­me­t­res in inner Recher­chefjord. Asbes­tos is one mine­ral found in the area and mining was attempt­ed, but not suc­cessful. Kul­spids AS still exists and still owns the pro­per­ty, which today’s owners of the com­pa­ny now want to turn into money, as was initi­al­ly repor­ted by Bloom­berg. The sto­ry was quick­ly picked up by various Nor­we­gi­an media inclu­ding NRK.

“All bidders wel­co­me” is the seller’s mes­sa­ge, addres­sing indi­vi­du­als, com­pa­nies and govern­ments ali­ke. It is poin­ted out that also govern­ments such as the ones in Chi­na or Rus­sia could buy the pro­per­ty, if a pri­ce could only be agreed on. And of cour­se the geo­po­li­ti­cal signi­fi­can­ce of arc­tic are­as in gene­ral is also high­ligh­ted by Kul­spids AS repre­sen­ta­ti­ve.

Geo­po­li­ti­cal signi­fi­can­ce – or not

Wha­te­ver the geo­po­li­ti­cal signi­fi­can­ce actual­ly might include is, hower, unclear: any new owner, as well as the cur­rent one, has to com­ply with the Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal law and the Spits­ber­gen (Sval­bard) Trea­ty. This makes pret­ty much any kind of land use impos­si­ble. No future owner, inclu­ding the govern­ment of Chi­na (or Rus­sia, for that sake) would legal­ly be able to build a hotel, a har­bour, a rese­arch sta­ti­on, a mine or a mili­ta­ry base. Nobo­dy would even legal­ly be able to dri­ve a snow mobi­le wit­hout spe­cial per­mis­si­on from Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties, which would be dif­fi­cult to get. The geo­po­li­ti­cal signi­fi­can­ce of the pro­per­ty bey­ond pres­ti­ge is hence doubtful.

Con­side­ring the abo­ve, rese­ar­cher Andre­as Øst­ha­gen of the Fri­dt­jof Nan­sen Insti­tu­te recom­mends the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment to remain calm and not make a very expen­si­ve panic purcha­se, accor­ding to Sval­bard­pos­ten. The mini­mum bid is set at the proud amount of 3.5 bil­li­on (yes, bil­li­on!) Nor­we­gi­an kro­ner – curr­ent­ly about 300 mil­li­on Euro. For com­pa­ri­son: at the latest com­pa­ra­ble trans­fer in 2014, when a lar­ge pro­per­ty on the north side of Advent­fjord was sold, the pri­ce was near one tenth of today’s mini­mum bid. Even then, the pri­ce was con­tro­ver­si­al – and mining or other land use would at least in theo­ry have been pos­si­ble, con­side­ring the pro­per­ty sold in 2014 was not part of any natio­nal park or other spe­ci­al­ly pro­tec­ted area.

Hence, it seems fair to assu­me that poin­ting at any geo­po­li­ti­cal or other importance of the pro­per­ty in Recher­chefjord or at poten­ti­al buy­ers such as Chi­na pri­ma­ri­ly ser­ve as a tool to push the pri­ce and to increase the pres­su­re on the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment to secu­re the land for Nor­way. Not­hing is so far known about any buy­ers actual­ly being inte­res­ted or any serious bids.

Mean­while, a spo­kesper­son of the Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment said that the govern­ment had actual­ly made an offer in the past which was con­side­red gene­rous con­side­ring that the pro­per­ty does not come with any land use poten­ti­al. The offer was tur­ned down by Kul­spids AS. It was also said that becau­se of an old con­tract bet­ween the govern­ment and Kul­spids AS, the pro­per­ty can not be sold wit­hout govern­ment appr­oval.

In any case, this is the very last major land area in Sval­bard still in pri­va­te hands. Once it is sold, the time of major pro­per­ties chan­ging from one owner to ano­ther will be over. The­re are very few other, small pri­va­te pro­per­ties in Sval­bard. In tho­se cases whe­re for exam­p­le a pri­va­te per­son owns a house in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the pro­per­ty as such does not include the land the house is stan­ding on – this is alre­a­dy govern­ment pro­per­ty.

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News-Listing live generated at 2024/June/22 at 03:10:21 Uhr (GMT+1)
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