Tag Archives: Svalbard Treaty

FISHY THINGS STILL CAUSING A STINK IN SVALBARD: Russia protests detaining of trawler this month; Latvian crab vessel fined 2M kr. for poaching incident that sparked global uproar

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Add another case to what might be called an epidemic of feverish disputes about fishing and other international rights issues in Svalbard, as Russia on Friday filed a formal protest with Norway over the detaining of a Russian trawler in the archipelago earlier month because it was operating within Norway’s fishery protection zone.

The protest follows three other detentions of Russian trawlers in recent years, plus a multitude of separate protests and other actions Russia has taken regarding what it calls Norway’s illegal interpretation of the Svalbard.

Also this week, a Latvian ship company was fined two million kroner in a by a Norwegian court for illegally catching 80 tons of snow crab in Svalbard, four years after the detaining of the vessel touched off a fierce legal battle with the European Union about access rights under the treaty. The battle took on global significance because the laws governing the seabed species are considered the same governing far more lucrative resources in the area such as oil.

TREATY TANTRUM: Russia uses 100-year anniversary of Svalbard Treaty to revive long-running list of accusations of discrimination by Norway in economic, other access

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Russia is tossing a stink bomb into this weekend’s planned celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty by demanding a meeting with Norway’s leaders regarding a multitude of long-running accusations of discrimination against Russia – including economic and scientific activity, fishing right, and deportation of citizens – in violation of the treaty’s equal-access provisions.

TRAWLING FOR TROUBLE: As one wrecked ship fuels emergency worries in north Svalbard, a vessel seized here is inflaming fears of future crises and conflict on a global scale

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While a damaged trawler stuck on an icy coast in north Svalbard is worrying local and national officials about the area’s emergency capabilities, some observers may be unaware of how the difficulties of another trawler are at the same time prompting a far more wide-reaching battle about a future where many more such ships will be seeking riches in remote waters in the region.

Abandon all hope: Svalbard’s 10 biggest stories of 2017

topstoriescovers

We’re not going to spin it: the year known as 2017 was a disaster – literally.

An avalanche early on shook the community and its leaders to its foundations, climate change inflicted maybe its most humiliating impact on us yet, Barentsburg suffered through two fatal crashes and the hope of some kind of future in terms of Store Norske’s coal mines suffered a death far more painful than even the most pessimistic envisioned.

Two lawsuits challenging Norway’s control of Arctic resources may have drastic – and drastically different – impacts

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Make Norway share its oil and other natural resources in the vicinity of Svalbard, or prevent drilling altogether?

Two lawsuits now before the court are challenging Norway’s authority in far north on the same basic issue, but with drastically different goals. One by the European Union is seeking equal access to resources for all countries that have signed the Svalbard Treaty, while two environmental organizations are suing Norway’s government for allowing drilling in new areas of the Arctic.

Svalbard declared one of Russia’s top war threats due to Norway’s goal of ‘absolute national jurisdiction’

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Norway’s attitude about Svalbard is among the top four geopolitical challenges – on par with NATO and the Baltic States – that puts Russia at risk of war, according to a Russian Defense Ministry report about national security threats.

Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 26, 2017

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Hmmm…this week we’ve got the military strutting its stuff in our non-militarized haven, the mayor worrying tourism will soon be as unpopular as mining (at a time when many local pols are rooting for boom times in both industries) and outrage in Hong Kong about the exorbitant prices of our local “super premium” Svalbarði bottled glacier water. So which to lead off with? Well, since a real newspaper would go with the item most likely to significantly affect the most people reading this (and in this case the plural reference may be overly optimistic), we’re obviously starting with the water weirdness…

A severe case of the crabs: Lawsuit about illegal fishing in Svalbard really about oil drilling rights, experts say

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A kilogram of crabs costs about twice as much as a kilogram of oil. But it’s the latter that’s perceived as the real treasure in a rapidly escalating legal battle between Norway and the European Union that may redefine the Svalbard Treaty and affect rights to drilling and other activity in the region for decades to come.

Burning up: Local environmentalists tell Norway’s government not to bring Arctic oil to a firefight

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They were forced to give ground to Mother Nature’s Arctic persona before making their objections heard. Their hope is those targeted by the protests will make similar concessions – or be forced to do so through legal action.

About 20 people gathered around a “warning fire” on the beach at Sjøområdet on Saturday as part of nationwide protest against oil drilling in Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja. The protest occurred two days before Norway’s government proposed opening a record 93 blocks in the Barents Sea to drilling, including  ten in the so-called “Svalbard zone.”

Doggonit, what’s that plane doing here? Air Force craft lingers in Longyearbyen after bringing dogs for police training

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Yes, that’s a Royal Norwegian Air Force plane that’s been parked at Svalbard Airport since Sunday and, yes, the police are taking a serious interest in the matter – but not because it’s not violating the Svalbard Treaty, according to the governor’s office.

The plane is being used to transport dogs that are receiving police training to and from Svalbard, said Police Chief Lt. Trond Olsen. He said there’s nothing illegal or particularly unusual about the use of the plane.