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Challenges for the Norwegian Coast Guard in the North

Norwegian Coast GuardThis project is to take stock of challenges facing the Norwegian Coast Guard in the North, in view of recent developments in the Barents Sea.

First, the Coast Guard's past role and future room for manoeuvre in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard are discussed. Gentle enforcement of fishery regulations has in recent years been replaced by open confrontation, and the Coast Guard's need to balance flexibility and communication with firm enforcement is at the heart of the discussion.

Second, transportation of oil from Timan-Pechora and Western Siberia along the North Norwegian coast has increased markedly since the early 2000s. Drilling is about to start in the Barents Sea itself. The consequences for the Coast Guard of new petroleum activities and regulation schemes are discussed in this case study.

Finally, we investigate the possibilities of extending coordination and collaboration between the Norwegian Coast Guard and Russian enforcement agencies in the Barents Sea. Such a collaboration was initiated in the early 1990s, but new challenges have arisen in the form of massive Russian overfishing and Nowegian efforts to create a uniform management plan for the Barents Sea.

Project team:
Geir Hønneland (project leader)
Leif Christian Jensen
Svein Vigeland Rottem

Project period: 2006-2008


Rottem, Svein Vigeland, 'Makt i nord' ('Force in the North'), Nordlys, 27 January 2009. In Norwegian.

Rottem, Svein Vigeland, Geir Hønneland and Leif Christian Jensen, Småstat og energistormakt: Norges sikkerhetspolitiske rolle i nord ('Small State and Energy Great Power: Norway's Security-Policy Role in the High North'). Bergen, Fagbokforlaget, 2008, 136 p. In Norwegian.

Rottem, Svein, 'Mellom avskrekking og beroligelse' ('Between Deterrence and Reassurance'), Dagbladet, 21 May 2007. In Norwegian.
 Related focal points of research:

   Arctic and Russian politics
   Law of the Sea and marine affairs

Project funding:

   Norwegian Ministry of Defence

Related FNI document:

   Nordområdeforskning ved FNI ('FNI's Research on the High North'). Presentation brochure in Norwegian (PDF , 0.6 Mb)

Recent relevant FNI News:

   FNI skal kartlegge utfordringene for Kystvakten i nord ('FNI to Map Challenges for the Norwegian Coast Guard'). In Norwegian. (02.05.06)

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
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