Nornickel debuts in tourism, starts king crab safari in border area to Norway

Norwegian tour operators on the coast to the Barents Sea has for years promoted king crab catch as a highlight. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
The company “Port Liinakharmari” is registered with a capital of 50 million rubles and is a 100% owned subsidiary of Nornickel.

The company recently won a bidding competition on the rights for recreation king crab fishing within a dedicated area west of the Pechenga fjord off the coast of the Kola Peninsula.

The exclusive right is for a ten-year period, according to the announcement by the Northern Seas Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fisheries.

A challenge, though, is that the dedicated area licensed for King Crab fishing is within the restricted border zone, about 15 kilometers from Russia’s border to Norway.

The company “Port Liinakharmari” is registered with a capital of 50 million rubles and is a 100% owned subsidiary of Nornickel.

The company recently won a bidding competition on the rights for recreation king crab fishing within a dedicated area west of the Pechenga fjord off the coast of the Kola Peninsula.

The exclusive right is for a ten-year period, according to the announcement by the Northern Seas Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fisheries.

A challenge, though, is that the dedicated area licensed for King Crab fishing is within the restricted border zone, about 15 kilometers from Russia’s border to Norway.

According to a recently published map made in cooperation between Murmansk regional authorities, the Union of tourism industry and FSB Border Directorate, the area on the western shores of Pechenga Bay is restricted border zone, but with possibilities for foreign tourists to visit with special permission.

“To obtain a special permit to enter the territory for a regulated visit, foreign citizens must, at least 45 days before the visit, send a written application,” states the instructions published by the government of the Murmansk region.

The grey area (between the pink and green) marks the part of the border zone in Pechenga which can be accessed by foreigners applying for permission. (Government of Murmansk)

The Barents Sea coast of the Kola Peninsula is the most militarized area in the Russian north with naval bases in nearly all fjords from the Fishermen Peninsula to the Kola Bay.

Blogger51 in Murmansk was first to report about the king crab bidding completion at four spots inside the 12 nautical miles zone off the western coast of the Kola Peninsula.

Nornickel and Murmansk authorities signed an agreement in 2019 on how to develop new businesses in the Pechenga region as the smelter in Nikel will be closed. Part of the plan includes development of a tourism cluster.

“Port Liinakhamari” is now given priority, said Deputy Governor of Murmansk region, Olga Kuznetsova, interviewed by TV21.

“It provides for the development of more than nature and ecological tourism, but also includes plans to create necessary infrastructure for cruise ships, yachts, diving, sea fishing and other types of tourism,” she said.

Kuznetsova has a background from Nornickel.

King crab safari in the Bøkfjord, on the Norwegian side of the border.(Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)

According to TV21, legal issues with the border guards and the ministry of defence have to be resolved, but the regional authorities are confident in success.

The Pechenga Bay is deep and does not freeze in winter. When the area belonged to Finland in the mid-war period, there was hectic activity in the port of Liinakhamari as Finnish industry in the area used the fjord for export of ores from the nearby rich nickel mines.

During the war, Nazi occupiers built large fortification facailities in the fjord and depended on those same terminal facilities in Liinakhamari for nickel shipments to war factories in Germany.

When the Soviet Union annexed the area after WW2, the fjord was used by the Northern Fleet that established a naval base on site. Later, Liinakhamari housed a fleet of coastguard vessels.

Today, the Northern Fleet is actively operating in the Pechenga Bay, including exercising landing operations with amphibous vehicles. The 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade has several units near the shores, including a shooting range.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s Northwest Territory offers tourism-related businesses a new financial boost, CBC News

Denmark: Who is allowed into Denmark from Sweden right now?, Radio Sweden

Finland: Finland to begin coronavirus testing at seaports and airports, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland changes COVID-19 rules for travellers from Iceland, Faroe Islands, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland eases COVID-19 rules for educational institutions, sporting events, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Summer tourism recovery is slow going in Sweden, Yle News

United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *