Murmansk deputy governor fears oil drilling in the Norwegian North

Publish date: October 11, 2005

According to Vjatsjeslav Zilanov, the deputy governor of Murmansk region, oil drilling in the Lofoten area could threaten fish stocks in the region.

The issue of oil drilling in the North is one of the most difficult topics in the ongoing negotiations between new Norwegian government coalition. Now also Russians engage in the debate. Zilanov, who has long experience also as a marine researcher, urges Norway to avoid drilling in the Lofoten area. “There are plenty of other places, where Norway safely can extract oil. Lofoten is a very important spawning area for cod and herring, and is therefore sensitive to petroleum substances,” he says.

He adds that Norway has the full right to exploit the resources around Lofoten, but that country is committed to protect the fish stocks in the North at the same time, BarentsObserver reported.

Other Russian marine researchers do not express concern about Norwegian industrial activity in the Lofoten area. “Norway has long experiences and advanced technology, which enables fish and oil interests to co-exist,” says Shibanov, from the PINRO marine research institute in Murmansk.

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