Despite working from our home offices, a series of shutdowns, closed borders and a pandemic that has not come to an end quite yet, it has been an eventful first half of the year. Perhaps exactly because of the pandemic.
We at High North News had to innovate and transition, just like many of you have had to. For what is journalism when all physical meetings are no longer an option? When there is no one “out there” to find and distribute the stories, take the temperature on society and meet the people living in the High North?
“This cannot go on”, said Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm.
Thus, the High North Tour 2021 became a reality. Armed with a rented mobile home, a heavy load of technical equipment and a solid dose of curiosity, Holm set the course to the north. The response was overwhelming.
As a "Thank you" for the journey, this week's Friday commentary is a tribute to the people Holm met on his three-months long journey through Northern Norway. You can watch the cavalcade here.
You can find all the other great stories from the trip at High North News.
Working in the High North
This summer, there will be quite a lot of exploratory drilling after both oil and gas taking place in the Norwegian as well as the Russian High North. In the Norwegian part of the northeastern Barents Sea, there is a field called Stangnestind, which lies right on the border line between Norway and Russia.
Russia's Ambassador to Norway says to High North News that Russia expects Norway to cooperate about any potential developments of cross-border petroleum fields in accordance with the Barents Sea border delimitation agreement between the two countries.
The fish industry goes well these days, despite the pandemic.
Throughout the entire pandemic period, the seafood company Royal Greenland has maintained more or less the same activity level as before. (Norwegian only.)
And for Lovundlaks in Norway, 2020 became a year of record production and sales of salmon, despite the salmon market being hard hit by the pandemic. (Norwegian only)
We could also tell you about how the Arctic coastal states as well as remote actors such as the EU and China have ratified an agreement to prevent unregulated fisheries in the high seas of the Arctic Ocean.
Plastic and permafrost
A recent study shows that plastic ocean waste drifting ashore along the Norwegian coast and in Svalbard comes from nearby ocean areas.
“We have to look into ourselves”, sasy Kjersti Opstad Strand, researcher at the Norwegian Met office.
There are also exciting news from Siberia, where an international team of scientists now have dated the oldest known permafrost to being at least 650,000 years old.
Yet another tragedy
Just weeks after the remains of 215 children were found in the ground near a former boarding school for indigenous people in British Columbia, Canada, another 751 unmarked graves have been found at a similar institution in Saskatchewan.
In a statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says this is “a disgraceful reminder of systemic racism, discrimination and injustice indigenous people have had to face”.
High North News goes on holidays for the month of July. We want to thank you warmly for following us and wish you all the best for the summer. See you in August!
News Editor, High North News