Tag Archives: The Governor of Svalbard

NO CHARGES IN DRUGGED BEAR’S DEATH: Autopsy shows polar bear tranqilized for research tagging apparently drowned when its head ended up in water, governor rules


A polar bear that died in September while in the process of being “tagged” by researchers likely drowned when its head ended up in a pool of water, The Governor of Svalbard announced Tuesday. As a result, no charges are being sought in the matter.

WOMAN FINED 20,000 KR. FOR QUARANTINE VIOLATIONS: Svalbard resident didn’t spend 10 days on the mainland before travelling home, visited people outside her home, governor says


A Longyearbyen woman was fined 20,000 kroner for violating COVID-19 quarantine requirements by failing to spend 10 days in quarantine on the mainland before travelling home and visiting two people outside her home during the mandatory quarantine period here, The Governor of Svalbard announced Wednesday.

SIX SVALBARD RESIDENTS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES: ‘Small quantities’ seized Thursday night and Friday morning; suspects also had numerous weapons, governor says


Six permant residents of Svabard were arrested on drug charges during raids conducted Thursday night and Friday morning, according to The Governor of Svalbard. In addition to seizing a small amount of drugs, officials also seized a large number of weapons.

CATCHING UP ON COVID-19: Local leaders answer questions about resident/visitor travel, what happens if an outbreak occurs and more during webcast (includes full Q&A)


Local political and heath officials hosted a digital Q&A meeting about the COVID-19 situation in Svalbardone of the few places in the world with no diagnosed cases, last Thursday.

The 45-minute webcast was shorter than similar meetings this spring when the pandemic was new and all visitor traffic cancelled at the peak of tourism season. But there was a lengthy and dominant focus during the most recent meeting regarding precautions for residents and visitors now allowed to travel here, and how officials will handle an outbreak when the virus reaches Svalbard as many expect is inevitible, especially with a surge of cases in Norway, Europe and elsewhere.

Below is a list of questions and replies by officials representing The Governor of Svalbard, Longyearbyen Community Council and Longyearbyen Hospital submitted before and during the meeting, translated from the Norwegian version posted at the city and governor’s website (some questions are mostly or entirely identical, but the full list is provided).

SEXLESS ‘STATE’ GOVERNMENT: Language Council recommends Sysselmannen (‘governor’) be renamed Svalbard Syssel (‘country subdivision’) to meet gender-neutral requirement


Due to Svalbard’s version of gender identity politics there will no longer be a Sysselmannen (translation: “governor”) as of Jan. 1, with Norway’s government recommending the person/office presiding over the archipelago be referred to as Svalbard Syssel (translation: “Svalbard state” – more or less).

LETHARGIC BEAR LINGERING: Polar bear spotted Sunday still (slowly) wandering around Adventdalen without disrupting much, but extra caution urged due to near-total darkness


Photo by Marcel Schütz

A polar bear first spotted near Longyearbyen on Saturday is still lingering two days later in Adventdalen, where it’s not moving around much or disturbing much, according to observers and The Governor of Svalbard.

IT’S SNOW JOKE: Governor issues avalanche warning after snowslides in mountains south of town despite scant snow – but if you see lots of rescuers in the area today don’t panic


There’s little snow on the ground, but there’s still enough to trigger several small avalanches in the Lars Hiertafjellet/Trollsteinen area south of Longyearbyen, prompting The Governor of Svalbard to issue an alert Monday about travel in the area.

Adding to that bit of odd news is another item with odd timing, as local Red Cross volunteers are planning a search and rescue exercise Tuesday evening in the Huset/Nybyen area near the base of the “avalanche zone.”

POLAR BEAR IN ADVENTDALEN: Predator seen Sunday morning near Hiorthhamn wandering toward mountains east of Longyearbyen, but officials tracking it throughout the evening

A polar bear first spotted at about 10 a.m. Sunday by a cabin owner across the bay from Longyearbyen is wandering eastward away from town into Adventdalen, but officials plan to track it throughout the evening and are urging people to take precautions if they are in the area, according to an alert issued by The Governor of Svalbard at about 3 p.m.

THE THICK BLUE LINE: For Svalbard governor’s new vehicle, ‘community policing’ means big blue reflective strips so people can easily recognize it when seeking help and see it the dark


It won’t make getting pulled over for traffic stops any more pleasant, but The Governor of Svalbard is hoping an abundance of distinctive blue light emitting from its new police vehicle offer a more enlightening encounter with residents and tourists during dark times.

TWO POLAR BEARS FLOWN AWAY, TWO NEW ONES ARRIVE: Well-known female bear and her cub removed from cabin area at Hiorthhamn, but new ones near town separately hours later


Photo by Guri Opheim.

A female polar bear who’s been a persistent visitor to the Longyearbyen area was flown with her cub well away from town Monday after yet another lingering visit to the cabin area at Hiorthhamn. But within hours two new bears arrived near town, one in Adventdalen and the other near at Revneset – with the latter trying to enter cabins and prompting officials to try to scare it scare it away using flash-bang shots and helicopter, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

“The governor asks people to be alert when they are out in the field and report if they observe polar bears,” a statement issued Tuesday morning notes.