Newsletter The Land of Extremes

Morten Høglund.
Morten Høglund, Chair of the SAOs in the Arctic Council at the Arctic Congress in Bodø, northern Norway. "The Arctic Congress decided early on to keep the congress's topics according to the priorities of the Norwegian chairship of the Arctic Council. It has been an inspiration to exchange ideas with you. Unfortunately not with all of you, but we know where to find you", said Høglund from the stage towards the end of the congress. (Photo: Trine Jonassen)  

Dear reader. This week offers extremes. Be it a congress that the press called a 'spy nest,' new-thinking tourism, a fishery industry calling for young people, ice-free Arctic sea lanes, or new border cooperation - all this and more in this week's newsletter.

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As our regular readers know, we participated in the Arctic Congress last week, where 1,200 international researchers, politicians, students – and the Norwegian Police Security Service – gathered. Ahead of the congress, the spotlight shifted from content to security matters. By the start of the congress, parts of the Norwegian press had dubbed the event a 'spy nest.' 

A description that Editor and Commentator Arne O. Holm did not leave unchallenged: 

"There are strict requirements for the use of anonymous sources in journalism. Even when the attacks are directed at people with Russian passports. Hiding behind the cowardly mask of anonymity does not absolve you of that responsibility”, states Holm.

  Tourism and fisheries  

In a bid to diversify tourist experiences in the Arctic, many operators are now offering science cruises where tourists can participate in polar expeditions. This offers challenges in terms of greenwashing. 

And the fishery industry is calling for young people: 

HNN's journalist Hilde-Gunn Bye met manager Arild Aasjord (78) of Steigen Seafood in Northern Norway, who says fewer and fewer boats are delivering fish to the landings the company has in Steigen. (Norwegian only) 

Business news

On Thursday, Freyr announced that the relatively new CEO, Birger Steen, is leaving the company effective immediately after just ten months. The CFO is also leaving due to personal reasons.  

The combination of seasonally ice-free waters and turmoil along traditional trade routes is diverting vessels into the Arctic. 

Still, Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 plant has now been sitting idle for nearly six months as Novatek has yet to receive any ice-capable LNG carriers for the project. 

Politics 

In Finland, initiatives are being developed to enhance growth, available expertise, and preparedness in the border regions. 

Finland has also entered into an agreement with Sweden, in which Finnish police will be allowed to intervene against criminals on Swedish soil in cases of extreme crime and situations where Swedish police cannot get there in time. 

Iceland praises Norway: 

“It was up to Norway to take on the huge challenge and responsibility of chairing the Arctic Council after Russia,” Iceland's Arctic ambassador, Pétur Ásgeirsson, said, praising Norway's chairship of the council while a member is at war.

 Finally, some happy news: 

Narvik in Northern Norway will host the Alpine World Ski Championship in 2029. (Norwegian only) 

Read about this and more at High North News. If you have tips, opinions, contributions, criticism, or praise, or if you just want to say hi, email us at hinn@nord.no. 

Follow us next week for more news from and about the North. 

On behalf of the editorial staff, I wish you a great week, 

Best regards, Editor-in-Chief Trine Jonassen

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