Newsletter: Fighting over Fish, and Russia Goes East

Torsketrålere på Myre 2017. Foto: Thor Nielsen.
When Great Britain left the EU, the fight over fishing rights around Svalbard caught fire again. (Photo: Fish trawler at Myre harbour. Credit: Sjømat Norge/Thor Nielsen)

Dear High North News reader! Can the waves of Brexit topple the Svalbard Treaty? This remains to be seen. In Norway, the seafood industry asks for a guarantee about open borders during the winter fisheries, we see the contours of Russia’s Asian focus, and our Editor-in-Chief highlights what really goes on about the power prices.

We are approaching yet another Christmas marred by the pandemic. Predictions about what life will be like new year abound, and infection figures are on the rise.

Health authorities believe that the Omicron variety will dominate the picture after Christmas and have introduced new restrictions.

Having the 2021 winter fisheries season fresh in mind, the Norwegian seafood industry fears yet another season without enough workers.

Cod fisheries near Svalbard challenges Norway's relationship with the EU. But how serious is the conflict and what is it really about?

The conflict over Brexit and the allocation of fish quotas opens up old wounds. Now, Norwegian authorities risk conflict with other states regarding the extent of the Svalbard Treaty.

International attention towards Svalbard is increasing, too.

What happens to the price on electricity?

The arrival of the winter cold and high electricity prices engage and provoke people. But should we really be surprised?

In his Friday commentary, our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm highlights the issue:

A unified Storting [parliament] runs head over heels to save the economy of hungry and frozen electricity customers. This is a political rescue mission resembling a burglar trying to erase his trail”, Holm writes.

Russia and India

India and Russia appear increasingly chummy in a series of areas.

Amongst others through transporting Russian crude oil and strengthening LNG imports to India, using the Northern Sea Route for energy supply.

They also explore the opportunities for a joint development of hydrocarbons in the Arctic and Russian parts of Asia.

Arming up

The USA is not on the lazy side in the Arctic these days. The Pentagon is re-arming in the north and the authorities in Unalaska on the Aleutian archipelago want to develop a deep-water port for icebreakers operating in the Arctic.

In Alaska, the company holding the oil lease agreements for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge announces that it will spend more money on developing the area, even though the prospects for oil-related activity are rather bleak.

That is the past week as seen from – and in – the High North. Feel free to tip us off! And we are happy to have more followers on social media in order for us to spread the news from the High North.

Take care now in the advent season!
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News  

This newsletter was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.