White whale’s fate subject to debate

The tame white whale known as Hvaldimir disappeared from his refuge in Hammerfest late last week, only to resurface Sunday near Alta, more than 50 kilometers away. Debate flew during the weekend over whether he should be escorted back to Hammerfest and cared for by researchers and minders, or allowed to chart his own course. […]

State agency sorry for its fake news

The new chief executive of the state-owned and funded Innovation Norway, which promotes business development and tourism in Norway, responded to charges on Wednesday that the entire agency should be ashamed of itself. Håkon Haugli, a former politician who took over at the agency last month, says he’s “extremely sorry” its tourism division spread what […]

Tourism promoters fooled the world

State-funded Norwegian tourism promoters mounted what may be their most dubiously successful campaign ever. A northern island that supposedly wanted to stop time grabbed lots of media attention around the world, but now it may cost lots of international credibility. Time ran out this week for the campaign launched by Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway), which promotes Norwegian […]

North Cape battle polarizes community

A major hotel chain backed by the slimmest possible majority of local politicians won last week’s battle over control of the North Cape. The war is far from over, however, after heated debate over land rights has polarized the local community. “The people are split,” declared Kjell Walter Sivertsen of the Labour Party after the […]

Battle flares over popular North Cape

Norway’s North Cape is one of the country’s foremost tourist attractions where visitors have long had to controversially pay for access to the Arctic plateau. Now coastal voyage line Hurtigruten is challenging the Scandic hotel chain’s operating monopoly on the North Cape, through a complaint to the European Free Trade Association’s surveillance authority ESA. Conflicts […]

More deadly algae found near Tromsø

Salmon producers in Northern Norway were bracing for more losses after dead fish were found this week in four fish farming facilities around Tromsø. Tests showed traces of a natural algae that kills the fish, but fishing authorities think the situation was under control. Salmon farming operations in Troms and Nordland counties were hit hard […]

White whale ailing in Hammerfest

The friendly white whale named Hvaldimir, who sought human contact off the coast of Northern Norway after apparently escaping from captivity, fell ill over the weekend. Researchers and the founder of the Norwegian Orca Survey feared the worst, but were breathing a bit easier on Monday. “It was a tough weekend,” Eve Jourdain, a marine […]

Glacier ice cube project cracks up

Politicians in the northern Norwegian community of Meløy have apparently listened to critics of a controversial project to sell exclusive ice cubes carved out of the glacier Svartisen. Meløy’s local council turned down the project on Friday, by a vote of 18 to 2. “We had two choices,” Meløy Mayor Sigurd Stormo of the Labour […]

New theory ties whale to therapy

A white beluga whale that turned up recently in Norwegian waters has neither been trained as a spy nor as an assault weapon, according to a Norwegian newspaper specializing in the fishing industry. It reported on Tuesday that it’s fairly certain the whale is named “Semjon,” and was trained for entertainment purposes and to offer therapy […]

White whale now named ‘Hvaldimir’

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) declared on Friday that “the public has spoken,” and named a cute white whale that was freed of mysterious harnesses off Finnmark last week Hvaldimir. “Hval” (pronounced “vall”) is the Norwegian word for whale, and the name is also a play on the name of Russian president Vladimir Putin. NRK, which had […]