Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 29, 2016


Help solve the mystery: What caused a huge die-off of cod at the coal pier?
Pål Remen came across a shocking sight Monday morning when he discovered a large number of dead Arctic cod just above the high tide mark along the shore of the coal pier. “Perhaps there is a natural explanation behind this,” he wrote in a e-mail to Svalbardposten, providing the newspaper with photos from the shore. “Can you help?” Svalbardposten is asking readers to provide any tips in the comments section of the article published about the incident, by e-mail at or by phone at 7902 4700.

Ministry leaves locals out of new artists’ residency program, officials say
An artists’ residency program announced in June by Norway’s Ministry of Culture didn’t include local and regional officials in the planning process, leading to doubts about – among other things – the future of existing local residency programs. “First and foremost, I am surprised that we are not involved in the work, but I’m even more surprised that North Norwegian Art Museum is not included,” said Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen. “That was where we thought our local roots lay.” The museum –at the moment a single-room facility inside Svalbard Museum – is a branch of the main Tromsø art museum and has hosted several residencies and exhibits during the past couple of years. Galleri Svalbard also has a limited residency program, offering discounted living accommodations temporarily to artists working on projects. Next year’s proposed state budget requests 2.5 million kroner for the ministry’s residency program, causing those involved in the current programs to worry their requests for funding will be reduced or denied.