Category Archives: Svalbard

‘Gradually and more controlled than on the mainland’: Svalbard reopens to Schengen/EEA residents on July 15, limits continue on some aspects such as charter flights and cruise ship size


A week after announcing mainland Norway will reopen for residents from Schengen Area and EEA countries on July 15, the government extended the order to include Svalbard – but with some limitations due to the archipelago’s ongoing relative lack of medical facilities and remote access for emergency transport.

HIGH NEGLIGENCE: Owner and captain of Northguider fined total of 330,000 kr. for wrecking trawler in north Svalbard, necessitating rescue of crew and multiyear removal effort


The owner of the wrecked Northguider shrimp trawler that’s been stranded in north Svalbard since December of 2018 has been fined 300,000 kroner and the ship’s captain 35,000 kroner for safety and navigation violations, The Governor of Svalbard announced Monday.

UNLUCKY SEVEN: A new study takes Longyearbyen’s ‘warming faster than anywhere’ claim to yet another level – twice the Arctic average and seven times the Earth’s


Chart showing number of days under -10C in Longyearbyen since 1910 by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

It’s starting to resemble a bidding war.


For a while Longyearbyen was warming twice as fast as Earth, a couple years ago it was three times, late last year all of Svalbard earned a six times claim, and now Longyearbyen has reclaimed the high spot with a new study relying in part on lost documents literally found deep underground that show warming is happening seven times faster.

Furthermore, now that “twice as fast” designation now applies to Longyearbyen compared to the rest of the Arctic, according to the study.

RADIOACTIVE SVALBARD: ‘Very low levels,’ possibly from Russian reactor, detected this month at stations near Longyearbyen and in Finnmark


It’s not Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or probably even a trip to the dentist, but there’s something a bit strange in the air.

A small amount of radioactivity was detected earlier this month at monitoring stations near Longyearbyen and Kirkenes, according to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The amount is not considered hazardous and the organization stated the source is still being determined.

ZERO COMPARISON: Svalbard/Jan Mayen is WHO’s only ‘zone’ w/ no COVID-19 cases – except Turkmenistan and North Korea (which experts say are lying) and some very tiny islands


Svalbard, while suffering Norway’s worst unemployment and economic loss from the COVID-19, remains the World Health Organization’s only “zone” on Earth with no officially diagnosed cases more than three months after the virus was declared a pandemic.

Aside, that is, from 1) North Korea and Turkmenistan – where words like “out of control” and “starving” are being used by reputable sources to describe the real situation being kept hidden by the countries’ totalitarian leadership; 2) some very tiny Pacific islands; and 3) Antarctica, which literally isn’t on the WHO’s map.

FUELING FUNDS AND FURY: Norway opens massive new oil drilling area in Arctic, including sections surrounding Svalbard


In the grip of unprecedented heat both economically and in the Arctic climate, Norway announced this week a continuing and aggressive effort to prioritize the financial crisis by opening 125 new oil exploration blocks in the Barents Sea, including areas surrounding the southern waters of Svalbard where drilling is banned.

GO WITH THE FLOE: Store Norske joins ‘renaming’ craze with new logo reflecting shift from ice-hard mining tradition to rapidly moving transition to multitude of industries


First the governor lost its manhood and now only days later Store Norske’s ice-hard embodiment has gone soft.

‘UNNECESSARY RISK’ BY OFFICIALS IN POLAR BEAR’S DEATH: Lack of equipment and failure to assess animal’s health among faults by governor and science experts, report states


Sharp criticism of the death of a polar bear tranquilized by officials in January near Longyearbyen is being expressed by The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, noting among other problems a lack of necessary equipment and failing to adequately assess the condition of the bear to determine if it could withstand the anesthesia, according to a report obtained by Svalbardposten.

MAN, WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM: Svalbard’s governor needs new name due to Norway’s new gender-neutral job title rule

The official title in English is “The Governor of Svalbard.” But the official title in Norwegian – the one that actually matters – is “Sysselmannen” and that’s suddenly a problem.

AN END AND A BEGINNING FOR SVALBARD’S ‘ICE BEAR’ MAN: Haakon Sandvik’s 78 Grader Taxfree store forced into bankruptcy by coronavirus; he’s focusing on what’s next


As Longyearbyen reopened for passenger ships and tourists from neighboring countries on Monday, Haakon Sandvik’s 78 Grader Taxfree variety store was packed with more customers than he’s seen in a long time. But it wasn’t a sign of renewed life – to the contrary, it marked the beginning of the end for the 18-year-old businesses which is declaring bankruptcy and shutting down in two weeks as the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.