Looking to the sea

Crown Prince visits Institute of Marine Research for World Environment Day

Crown Prince Haakon

Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen / NTNB scanpix
Crown Prince Haakon at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research in Arendal.

Translated by Andy Meyer

Crown Prince Haakon marked World Environment Day on June 5 with a visit to the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research in Arendal. He will also visit Raet National Park.

The crown prince was welcomed to the Flødevigen Research Station on Hisøy in Arendal by the director of the Institute of Marine Research, Sissel Rogne.

Afterward, he was given an orientation in how the institute carries out its studies and research from an environmental perspective. He was also briefed about the conditions in the Oslofjord, where the institute’s own statistics show that it is almost empty of fish.

Over the last 100 years, all cod species have been reduced by 86% in Inner Skagerrak. In 1950, kelp grew down to a depth of 82 feet—now, it does not grow deeper than 46 feet.  Already last year, the government prohibited cod fishing in the Oslofjord.

The crown prince also received hands-on instruction in how to pull lobster traps in the institute’s lobster reserve before the trip proceeded on to Raet National Park.

There, the crown prince was shown examples of how the Institute of Marine Research works to achieve zero “spøkelsesfiske” (a Norwegian expression for lost nets and traps that continue to trap and kill marine life), along with how a century-long series of shore seining studies are still an invaluable source of knowledge.

On the same day, the United Nations’ ocean conference was to end in Lisbon, Portugal, but because of coronavirus, the conference was canceled in April.

The United Nations established World Environment Day in 1972. This year, the day served as a “starting gun” for the ocean’s decade, after the U.N. General Assembly declared the decade 2021-2030 an international decade for oceanic research.

This article originally appeared in the June 26, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.