Arcticportal News
Agreement to sign oil spill response treaty
Energy News
Friday, 12 October 2012 08:35

Össur was happy that the agreement was signed in Reykjavik (Photo: Arctic Portal) Össur was happy that the agreement was signed in Reykjavik (Photo: Arctic Portal)The eight member states of the Arctic Council have agreed to sign a binding treaty concerning response for potential oil spills in the Arctic.

This was agreed yesterday in a meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The joint defense and response agreement will be developed over the coming months.

The specific meeting about this issue in Reykjavík saw 70 representatives talk about the issue, with the conclusion of agreeing to sign a binding agreement, with the joint responsibilities.

The cooperation will amongst other things, touch on information sharing and response exercises. The countries already have various equipment and knowledge on the issue, but it might be different between countries how well they are prepared.

"This is a huge agreement," foreign minister of Iceland, Össur Skarphéðinsson, told Fréttablaðið newspaper.

"This agreement is historic and a very important step for us, because this agreement has been one of the cornerstones of Iceland's Arctic policy in recent years and I especially welcome that the agreement is signed in Reykjavík," he added.




Fréttablaðið newspaper


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{mosmap address='Reykjavik, Iceland'|zoom='2'|}

Palm trees in latest SCAR newsletter
Other News
Friday, 12 October 2012 08:13

 The latest issue of the SCAR newsletter is now available. SCAR is the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

The latest issue looks back at the XXXII SCAR Meetings and Open Science Conference in July and forward to the XI SCAR Biology Symposium next July.

The newsletter is news and announcement feature from SCAR, which includes articles, news stories, polar and APECS events and this issue even has a story about palm trees in Antarctica!

Click here to read the newsletter.


French Arctic Marine Research introduced
Shipping News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 13:57

Dr. Marie-Noëlle Houssais (Photo: UNAK) Dr. Marie-Noëlle Houssais (Photo: UNAK) Today at the University of Akureyri, dr Marie – Noelle Houssais gave a speech on French contribution to the Arctic marine scientific research.

For the past two decades France has been extremely active in contributing to main axes of Arctic marine research.


Governmental and non – governmental organizations have been involved in monitoring and evaluating of the climate system, understanding the processes, underpinning its variability as well as estimating the future state of the Arctic and the potential impacts.


Dr. Houssais highlighted socio – economic impacts of climate change in the Arctic to include marine transportation on northern sea routes, exploitation and extrication of marine living and non – living resources.


France has a long history in both Arctic and Antarctic research activities and expeditions. Logistical support to polar activities in the country largely benefits Arctic and Antarctic projects.


Dr. Marie Houssais is a Doctor of Sciences at Universitee Pierre et Marie Curie Paris Sorbonne (UPMC), an oceanographer physicist specializing in the polar regions. She was elected member of Scientific Council of the UPMC over the period 2008 – 2012. It was dr Houssais´ second visit to Iceland.


Millions to exploration near Jan Mayen
Energy News
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 08:54

Map of the Jan Mayen area. Map by Arctic Portal. Map of the Jan Mayen area. Map by Arctic Portal.The Norwegian Government plans to map, do seismic surveys and other geological data acquisitions outside Jan Mayen and in the Barents Sea in 2013. A total of 17.6 million Euros have been allocated to the project.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe wants to continue surveys in the parts of the Barents Sea that were opened for such activity through the Norwegian-Russian Agreement on delimitation of the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean that came into force on July 7 2011, according to the Barents Observer.

The proposed area in question is the Norwegian side of the dividing line in the Barents Sea where the Russian and Norwegian borders are. Norway has already conducted seismic acquisition in the southern parts of the new area in the Barents Sea.

The agreement has specific obligations for cooperation in case there are found any cross-border petroleum deposits. If a deposit extends across the delimitation line, the parties shall enter into an agreement for the exploitation of the deposit as one unit.


“Norwegian petroleum industry is doing very well. There is a high level of exploration activity, new large discoveries are being made and developed and a lot of work is done to improve recovery at producing fields”, Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe says to the Ministry’s web site. 

He also added that although initial surveys had been conducted, a long time could pass until production starts.


Cod still moving north
Other News
Thursday, 04 October 2012 11:12

Cod catch rates. Map by NIOMR. Click to enlarge. Cod catch rates. Map by NIOMR. Click to enlarge.Arctic Cod is still moving northward and recent findings recorded the furthes distribution of the specie. Arctic Cod was recorded at 82 degrees and 30 minutes north this year, by the Russian research vessel Vilnjus.

"The cod is moving northward and eastward. It also looks like it has enough food," oceanographer Harald Gjøsæter.

Gjøsæter was the expedition leader in the Barents Ocean and he says that the stocks are still growing.

But the movement north is due to two things, Gjøsæter says. "The water is warm enough for the Cod and there is enough food," he says.

The scientists use both trawl and acoustic instruments to map the fish stocks in the Barents Sea, and the studies show that the distribution of cod stocks and the capelin stocks are overlapping each other. "The capelin stocks are also strong. "

Gjøsæter also states that quotas for next year need to be precise but he is optimistic that the stocks are in good condition.


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