Tag Archives: The Governor of Svalbard

SHUTDOWN TO SNOWMOBILES AGAIN: Ban on motor traffic in three popular areas to protect wildlife OK’d by governor; strong protests by tourism, researchers, cabin owners, filmers, others


A ban on motorized traffic in three areas heavily populated by seals and polar bears will be in effect from March 15 to June 1, The Governor of Svalbard announced Thursday after evaluating often highly critical comments from a wide variety of local interests from tourism to university research that use the areas.

POLAR BEAR INJURES MAN IN EAST SVALBARD: Bear shot and killed after attack on two-person excursion to Mohnbukta


A man working on a film project was injured by a polar bear Tuesday morning during a scouting excursion with a co-worker to Mohnbukta in east Spitsbergen, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

“The polar bear has been shot and killed,” an announcement at the governor’s website states. “The governor was notified of the incident at 9:25 a.m. today. The man who was attacked by the polar bear is slightly injured. He is now being treated at Longyearbyen Hospital.”

GOVERNOR – DON’T TRAVEL TO/FROM SVALBARD UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY: Advisory issued Monday is not a ban, but major new restrictions on mainland being closely watched


People are urged to avoid all travel to and from Svalbard unless absolutely necessary, meaning vacations and other “leisure trips” should not occur, The Governor of Svalbard announced Monday afternoon.

The alert is not a mandate, but a rapidly worsening COVID-19 situation on the mainland due to the rapid spread of the mutated U.K. strain means local officials are keeping a constant watch to see if a heightened risk to Svalbard – and therefore an official ban and/or other lockdown measures – will be ordered.

ROAD BETWEEN SKJÆRINGA AND HUSET CLOSED: Avalanche danger due to overnight blizzard and forecast of more storms closes road indefinitely (UPDATE: reopen 3 p.m. Wed.)


Update 1 p.m. Wednesday: The road will open at 3 p.m. today, according to the city.

Original story: The road at the base of mountains on the west side of Longyearbyen between Skjæringa and Huset is closed indefinitely due to the threat of avalanches following a storm overnight, officials said Tuesday.

GOVERNOR GETS KINGLY APPOINTMENT: Kjerstin Askholt, Svalbard’s governor since 2015, moving to Norway’s southernmost district as new police chief in Agder


Kjerstin Askholt, named Svalbard’s governor in 2015 just as a literal and figurative avalanche of hardships were beginning, has been named the new chief of police in Agder, Norway’s King-in-Council announced Friday.

LIFE’S THE PITS FOR POLAR BEAR NEAR TOWN: Sleeping spot and tracks found east of Longyearbyen at Helvetiafjellet


It might be hibernation season when polar bears are supposed to retreat to their dens, but at least one is opting to camp outside near Longyearbyen as a hiker discovered tracks and a pit in the snow where the predatory slept, The Governor of Svalbard reported Wednesday.

PLEASE BE A DIM BULB NEAR THE AIRPORT: Pilot landing at Svalbard Airport blinded by bright car lights, officials say


People driving within the vicinity of Svalbard Airport are being asked by officials to not have their bright headlines on after a pilot reported being blinded by them while landing Sunday.

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.