Jarle Andhøy, an outspoken adventurer who has sailed on several controversial and even fatal expeditions to Antarctica, was acquitted by a court in Tromsø this week of charges he lacked authority for the trips. The Nord-Troms court accepted that he had received authority to sail in Antarctica from Argentina.
“It was high time,” Andhøy claimed, rejecting complaints from the Norwegian Polar Institute that it has territorial authority and must approve all voyages south of the 60th parallel. Norwegian prosecutors had wanted Andhøy jailed for 30 days and fined NOK 45,000
Andhøy blatantly defied his own country’s attempt to regulate vessel traffic in the sensitive and stormy area. After four court appearances the Nord-Troms jurisdiction finally took a position on whether the Norwegian Polar Institute, with interests in the area going back to Norwegian Roald Amundsen’s first successful expedition to the South Pole, had authoritory to decide who can sail in international waters around Antarctica. Andhøy’s Argentinian approval was seen as sufficient, pending appeal by the state.