Newsletter: The Productive Arctic

Geysir, Island. (Foto: Trine Jonassen)
A high vaccination rate has not been able to prevent Iceland from being in the middle of a wave of  Covid-19 infections. (Photo: Trine Jonassen)
Dear High North News reader: there is high production in the Arctic, despite the pandemic. New agreements are signed, and investments are lined up. Yet we also have to talk about the climate crisis and the Corona crisis raging all over the world.

The hope about herd immunity did not quite turn out as planned on Iceland. The Saga island finds itself in the middle of the fourth wave, which has hit the island head-on despite some 70 percent of its population being fully vaccinated. It turns out that most of the vaccinated and infected have received the Janssen vaccine.

That also has consequences for travel to and from the island.

At the same time, the Nordics are slowly opening up. High North News Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm reports from his motorbike seat while the pandemic slowly eases its iron grip on the wealthy part of the world.

In poor countries, or in countries with both democratic and financial deficits, it continues its relentless search for new victims.”

Business thriving

2020 was a hard year for many in the fisheries and seafood industries. The Covid-19 pandemic and shut-down fresh food counters, fish markets and restaurants a.o. led to dropping demand and prices for several products. However, now there is a light at the end of the tunnel again.

We can also report that FSUE Atomflot and Arctic Perevalka LLC have signed an agreement to create a port fleet for supplying towing services at the marine LNG-reloading complex in Murmansk, Russia.

In addition, China Communications Constructions Company is to build an LNG reloading terminal in Kamchatka for Novatek. This facility will manage LNG along the way from the Arctic to Asia.

Mining news and fiber cables

Good news for the Canadian Arctic too; a subsea fiberoptic cable is now laid down along the coast to Hudson Bay.

And in Greenland, billionaire-backed mining company KoBold has entered into cooperation with Bluejay in order to explore minerals for use in electric vehicles.

More mining news: Swedish mining giant LKAB believes the company may have a production drop in the range of between 50 to 80 percent unless it finds a new cement supplier by the end of October.

Activities along the coastline are not risk free. Earlier this week, all alarms went off when 15,000 liters of chlorine leaked into the sea from a salmon harvest facility in Alta, Northern Norway.

Climate crisis and a new director

On Monday, the UN published its most recent climate report, which has dominated the news ever since. Global warming will le ad to further sea ice melting, inland ice in Greenland melting, less snow, and permafrost thaw. None of this is good news for the coming generations

After what must be described as a messy process, it was announced today that University of Bergen Professor and Marine Dean Nils Gunnar Kvamstø (57) has been appointed the new Director of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. This means that current Director Sissel Rogne did not get a second term in office. (Norwegian only.)

Thank you for following, and feel free to tip us off!

Kind regards,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News