This half-sunken floating dock in the southern part of Murmansk harbor area is just one of hundreds of similar objects that are leaking toxic substances to the marine environment. (Photo: Thomas Nilsen)
Leakages of heavy metals, oil and other toxics from abounded and sunken ships along the coastline outside Murmansk are seriously polluting the water.
“There are almost no undamaged ecosystems along the coast of the bay,” says Murmansk first deputy Governor Alexey Tyukavin quoted by PortNews. Tyukavin talked about the Kola bay pollution at the 5th International Ecological Forum this week.
The ecological crisis is due to unauthorized discharges, neglected military bases and sunken vessels.
Kola bay, often referred to as Murmansk fjord, is a 57 kilometer long fjord from Murmansk in the south to the Barents Sea in the north. Its depth is 200 to 300 meter and most of the population and industrial activities are found on the eastern shores with towns as Murmansk and Severomorsk. The northern part of the bay are heavily militarized with several naval yards and the Northern fleets bases.
According to Alexey Tyukavin, the biggest problem for regional authorities in the work to clean up is that the bay area is federally owned. Owners of abounded vessels and shore properties can’t with current legislation be forced to pay for cleanup.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.