Arctic News Roundup: 16-22 March

[Photo via Pixabay]
by Mingming Shi

1) Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir, the Managing Director of Fisheries Iceland, the association of companies in the country’s fishery industry, (Samtaka fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi in Icelandic), expressed her concerns over the current situation and future of exports of fresh fishery harvests from the country, in an interview with RÚV. Given the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the world, including in Europe, where numerous restaurants are closed, it is difficult for Iceland, one of the prominent marine products sources in the world, to maintain its fisheries market abroad. However, she also noted that stakeholders in Icelandic fishing industries have been endeavouring to adapt to the challenge, including freezing their harvest for other future sales.

2) This week, CBC News, a Canada-based news agency, revealed some historical background information about an expedition to the North Pole by a group of scientists in 1983. The main task of the exploration mission was to research the Alpha Ridge, a formation beneath the Arctic Ocean. The expedition was not merely for the scientific purposes, since what was then the Soviet Union was also interested in the region.

3) The Barents Observer reported the tough grazing conditions for reindeer in the Arctic regions due to climate change. Volumes of snowfall on the already frozen ground this winter, along with other natural conditions, had made food more difficult to reach for animals, including reindeer, in the high North.

4) Both the energy firm ConocoPhillips and Oil Search Ltd. have announced an expenditure reduction on oil exploitation projects in Alaska, considering that the prices of oil have experienced a sharp decline globally, according to CBC News.

5) Chinese Policy and Presence in the Arctic, a new book with the theme of China-Arctic relations, has been published. This new academic volume, edited by Timo Koivurova and Sanna Kopra, consists of research from a number of leading specialists on China and the Arctic, including Marc Lanteigne, Chief Editor of OtC. The book presents the historic timeline China’s engagement in the Arctic, the polar strategies of the country and the future trends of its regional presence. The book also includes a special chapter on the relationship between China and Finland in regards to Arctic affairs.