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Jan Mayen information

On this site, you will find an intro­duc­tion to the fas­ci­nat­ing island of Jan Mayen, includ­ing the fol­low­ing sections:

Gen­er­al: Jan Mayen is sit­u­at­ed at 71°N/8°W or, in oth­er words, about 550 kilo­me­ters north of Ice­land and 450 kilo­me­ters east of Green­land. The land area is about 373 square kilo­me­ters, sim­i­lar to La Gomera in the Canary Islands or the Lake Gar­da in north Italy. The shape is quite pecu­liar, sim­i­lar to a nar­row spoon, stretch­ing 53 km long from south­west to north­east. This has to to with the geol­o­gy – see next sec­tion below: Geol­o­gy). The spec­tac­u­lar scenic cen­tre point of Jan Mayen is the 2277 meter high glac­i­er-cov­ered vol­cano Beeren­berg with its sym­met­ri­cal cone shape.

Jan Mayen was dis­cov­ered ear­ly in the 17th cen­tu­ry and became part of Nor­way in 1930. There is an active Nor­we­gian mil­i­tary and weath­er sta­tion. There is no touris­tic infra­struc­ture what­so­ev­er: no accom­mo­da­tion or trans­port facil­i­ties (nei­ther from the out­side world to Jan Mayen and back nor with­in the island) avail­able to the pub­lic. In 2010, Jan Mayen was declared a Nature reserve – gen­er­al­ly with­out any doubt a good thing, but restric­tions for vis­i­tors are ridicu­lous­ly strict, mak­ing it even more dif­fi­cult to vis­it the island prop­er­ly (see sec­tion Reg­u­la­tions). Tourist vis­its, already rare before 2010, have accord­ing­ly become even more scarce, espe­cial­ly those very few ones who did a bit more than vis­it­ing the sta­tion or Kval­ross­buk­ta. Hard weath­er, rough seas and the lack of shel­tered nat­ur­al har­bours make it dif­fi­cult enough to vis­it Jan Mayen any­way. On the oth­er hand, it is a unique, fas­ci­nat­ing island, inter­est­ing with regards to geol­o­gy, scenery and his­to­ry, and absolute­ly worth see­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing for adven­tur­ous polar enthusiasts.

Jan Mayen map

© Rolf Stange – Jan Mayen. The island is 53 km long (SW-NE) and just 2 km wide in the cen­tral part.
Black cir­cles: 17th cen­tu­ry whal­ing sta­tions. White cir­cles: 17th cen­tu­ry whal­ing sta­tions (assumed). Squares: Sta­tions (1. Eld­ste Met­ten = weath­er sta­tion 1921-1940. 2. Jøss­ing­dalen (weath­er sta­tion 1941-46 and gar­ri­son), 3. Atlantic City (US Coast­guard sta­tion, 1943-46, weath­er sta­tion 1946-49) 4. Gam­le Met­ten (weath­er sta­tion 1946-62), 5. Olonk­in­byen (today’s Nor­we­gian sta­tion, active since 1958), 6. Hele­ne­sanden (weath­er depart­ment of the sta­tion since 1962).
Breen = glac­i­er, buk­ta = bay, Kapp = cape, Nylan­det = New Land, slet­ta = plain, Vika = small bay.

Geol­o­gy: Jan Mayen is geo­log­i­cal­ly sim­i­lar to Ice­land, but com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent to oth­er land mass­es and islands in the north Atlantic such as Nor­way, Green­land or Spits­ber­gen. It is even younger than geo­log­i­cal­ly rather ado­les­cent Ice­land. Both are part of the mid­dle Atlantic ridge sys­tem, but Jan Mayen is not sit­u­at­ed exact­ly on top of it. The island is owing its exis­tance and its pecu­liar shape to a so-called Hot Spot (talk­ing plate tec­ton­ics, not wire­less inter­net) and the fact that the plate with Jan Mayen on top is slow­ly drift­ing over the Hot Spot, which itself is deep-seat­ed and sta­tion­ary. The vol­cano Beeren­berg is still active, with sev­er­al erup­tions dur­ing the 20th cen­tu­ry. These took place not at the large cen­tral crater at the top, but near the north­ern tip of the island (Nylan­det = new land).

Jan Mayen: Eggøya

Cli­mate & glac­i­ers. The cli­mate is dis­tinct­ly mar­itime-arc­tic. In oth­er words, the weath­er is most­ly pret­ty poor. Clear and cold win­ter weath­er is as rare as sun­ny sum­mer days. Fog, wind and driz­zle, not pro­duc­ing much pre­cip­i­ta­tion but mak­ing you nev­er­the­less quick­ly wet, are char­ac­ter­is­tic for Jan Mayen. The well-known Ice­land low pres­sure sys­tem should actu­al­ly be called the Jan Mayen low, because this is where it is from.

Pre­cip­i­ta­tion is increas­ing with alti­tude, and so is the pro­por­tion of pre­cip­i­ta­tion that falls as snow. This is why Beeren­berg has more than 100 km2 of glac­i­ers, 5 of which reach down to sea lev­el. At least they did so until a few years ago; they are shrink­ing as they do almost every­where and the only one that still has an impres­sive calv­ing ice cliff is Weyprecht­breen, which is is descend­ing down direct­ly from the cen­tral crater at the top of the vol­cano. Spec­tac­u­lar stuff, indeed! Most of the oth­er glac­i­ers are more and more hid­ing under their grow­ing ter­mi­nal morains.

Cur­rents & Ice. Jan Mayen lies with­in the area with dif­fer­ent ocean­ic water mass­es meet. The East Green­land cur­rent brings cold water and huge mass­es of drift ice from the Arc­tic Ocean, fol­low­ing the coast of East Green­land down south. Com­ing from the south­west and bring­ing large mass­es of tem­per­ate water into the north­east Atlantic is the Gulf Stream. Jan Mayen is pret­ty much exact­ly on the bound­ary zone of these two, where arc­tic and tem­per­ate water mass­es meet and mix. Today, the cold waters of the East Green­land cur­rents do rarely touch the shores of Jan Mayen any­more, and drift ice is hard­ly seen around the island. If so, it comes „nor­mal­ly“ some time between March and ear­ly May, but chances the ice comes as far east as Jan Mayen have become very slim these days.

Flo­ra & Fau­na. Jan Mayen’s fau­na is most­ly char­ac­ter­ized by seabirds breed­ing on steep cliffs and slopes. Impor­tant species include the North­ern ful­mar, which is beau­ti­ful­ly adapt­ed to the harsh weath­er and open sea and may well be called a char­ac­ter bird of Jan Mayen and the sur­round­ing ocean. Also very abun­dant are the Kit­ty­wake, Brünich’s guille­mot and Lit­tle auk, the lat­ter one breed­ing under rocks on steep slopes rather than on ver­ti­cal cliffs. Birds typ­i­cal for the arc­tic tun­dra such as the Snow bunting, Grey phalarope, Turn­stone and oth­ers are hard­ly found on Jan Mayen due to the obvi­ous lack of tun­dra veg­e­ta­tion and wet­lands. There are no ter­restric mam­mals since the Polar fox was dri­ven to local extinc­tion in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. There have nev­er been Muskox­en, rein­deer or rodents. Polar bears may vis­it the island occa­sion­al­ly when there is drift ice around, but they haven’t been seen in recent years as the East Green­land ice does not reach Jan Mayen anymore.

The area is nev­er­the­less bio­log­i­cal­ly very rich, but it is the sea that is pro­duc­tive and has a lot of life, not the most­ly very bar­ren land. With some luck and calm weath­er, a num­ber of whale species up to the very largest one, the Blue whale, can be seen, and sev­er­al seal species feast in the rich fish­ing grounds.

What is most­ly strik­ing about the veg­e­ta­tion over large parts of Jan Mayen is its absence. Large areas are almost com­plete­ly bar­ren, dark plains of vol­canic sand and rocks. Oth­er parts have sur­pris­ing­ly rich, thick and colour­ful car­pets of moss­es and lichens. The list of vas­cu­lar plants is much short­er than on Spits­ber­gen, which is much fur­ther north, and the species diver­si­ty of neigh­bour­ing Green­land reminds of a trop­i­cal rein­for­est in com­par­i­son, but it includes sev­er­al species of sax­ifra­ga and even sev­er­al dan­de­lions, includ­ing endem­ic ones.

His­to­ry. The ear­ly his­to­ry of Jan Mayen is no more than leg­ends if any­thing at all, and it may well be that no one has ever seen the island before the days of the whalers in the ear­ly 17th cen­tu­ry. There are some sto­ries of Irish monks in the 7th cen­tu­ry fol­lowed by the Vikings, who cer­tain­ly went from Nor­way to Ice­land and fur­ther to south­west Green­land, but if they ever came any­where near Jan Mayen remains unknown. No one less than famous Hen­ry Hud­son may have dis­cov­ered the island in 1608, but the first con­firmed sight­ing was made in 1614 by John Clarke from Eng­land. Clarke was soon fol­lowed by whalers who start­ed to exploit the bio­log­i­cal trea­sures of the arc­tic seas in the 17th cen­tu­ry. Dutch whalers estab­lished sev­er­al sta­tions on Jan Mayen. A few remains can still be seen at two sites on the north­ern side of the island, includ­ing Kval­ross­buk­ta. Jan Mayen obvi­ous­ly received its name in those years, com­mem­o­rat­ing a Dutch whal­ing cap­tain. An attempt to win­ter dur­ing 1633-34 end­ed fatal­ly: all 7 men died of scurvy.

Once the whales got scarce and whal­ing remained with­out prof­its, Jan Mayen most­ly dis­ap­peared in north­ern mists again until it was vis­it­ed the next time by a group of Aus­tri­an sci­en­tists dur­ing the First Inter­na­tion­al Polar Year (IPY) in 1882-82. The Aus­tri­ans estab­lished a sta­tion in Maria Muschbuk­ta and were the first ones to win­ter suc­cess­ful­ly on Jan Mayen. The whole expe­di­tion was quite suc­cess­ful, „only“ one sailor of the trans­port ves­sel died of tuber­cu­lo­sis and was buried on the spot near the sta­tion (his grave is still there), the win­ter­ing crew returned home with a wealth of data as part of the inter­na­tion­al pro­gramme car­ried out in the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic dur­ing that first IPY.

Nor­we­gian trap­pers dis­cov­ered Jan Mayen in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry as a rich hunt­ing ground for the polar fox. The first win­ter­ing of that peri­od took place in 1906-07 and was ini­tial­ly a suc­cess: the trap­pers could board a small ship to bring them back home after a good sea­son. But desaster struck near Ice­land, when the ship sank and all except the machin­ist died. Sev­er­al hunt­ing par­ties win­tered in fol­low­ing years, some of them return­ing back home with record catch­es of Polar fox, includ­ing a high pro­por­tion of the rare vari­ety called Blue fox, which has dark­er fur which fetched good prices. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the local pop­u­la­tion of fox­es could not tol­er­ate the hunt­ing pres­sure and col­lapsed soon. The Polar fox is still local­ly extinct on Jan Mayen, one can only hope that it will return to the island one day with the drift ice from East Greenland.

Progress with­in the field of mete­o­rol­o­gy and the need for reli­able weath­er fore­cast made it nec­es­sary for Nor­way to estab­lish a weath­er sta­tion on Jan Mayen. This was done in 1921. The sta­tion was re-locat­ed sev­er­al times dur­ing the 20th cen­tu­ry, but has been oper­at­ed con­tin­u­ous­ly since 1921 with the excep­tion of the dark years of WWII. Run orig­i­nal­ly with 3, then 4 men, to begin with just north of Eggøya on the south­ern side, it also served as an impor­tant radio sta­tion for fish­ing and seal­ing ships. The ear­li­est one near Eggøya is now gen­er­al­ly referred to as Eld­ste Met­ten (old­est met(eorological) station).

Sev­er­al attempts were made dur­ing the 1920ies by Nor­we­gian indi­vid­u­als to take pos­ses­sion of Jan Mayen, and soon the Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment, rep­re­sent­ed by the crew of the weath­er sta­tion, entered the scene. In 1930, a law came into force that declared Jan Mayen part of the King­dom of Nor­way. But the ground was still pri­vate prop­er­ty of a Nor­we­gian, who had per­sis­tent­ly put up his annex­a­tion signs and went the weath­er sta­tion crew and Nor­we­gian offi­cials on the nerves, thus secur­ing his claims both local­ly and in Nor­we­gian courts. The gov­ern­ment bought the island lat­er from his descen­dants to achieve full con­trol. Jan Mayen is accord­ing­ly now both Nor­we­gian ter­ri­to­ry and state (not to be mis­tak­en for „pub­lic“) prop­er­ty. The dif­fer­ences and fac­tion­al­ism relat­ed to the sov­er­eign­ty and own­er­ship ques­tion in the 1920s and 30s were in fact quite bizarre.

The Nor­we­gian weath­er sta­tion was evac­u­at­ed dur­ing ear­ly stages of WWII in Sep­tem­ber 1940, but re-estab­lished as soon as ear­ly 1941 at some dis­tance from the coast because weath­er fore­casts were impor­tant for the mil­i­tary on both sides. Also the Ger­mans tried to estab­lish mete­o­ro­log­i­cal air­craft (hydroplanes), but lim­it­ed them­selves to reg­u­lar mete­o­ro­log­i­cal flights and weath­er ships from occu­pied Nor­way after some false attempts. Sup­port­ed by the Unit­ed King­dom, Nor­way kept the weath­er sta­tion active in Jøss­ing­dalen (see map above) and added a mil­i­tary gar­ri­son to „guar­an­tee“ the safe­ty of the sta­tion. Shots were occa­sion­al­ly fired from both sides when Ger­man air­craft flew over the sta­tion, but with­out any real dam­age or even loss of life on either side. But to Ger­man air­craft crashed into moun­tain slopes on Jan Mayen dur­ing the war years due to bad nav­i­ga­tion. Dur­ing lat­er years of WWII, the US Coast­guard estab­lished a sta­tion to detect and track down ene­my radio traf­fic. The Amer­i­cans and their sta­tion, called „Atlantic City“, were not far from their Nor­we­gian neigh­bours, until they left in 1946 as agreed with the exiled Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment in Lon­don. The Nor­we­gians soon took over the build­ings of Atlantic City and used them as their tem­po­rary weath­er sta­tion until 1949, when they built a new, bet­ter one just next door. The new sta­tion („Gam­le Met­ten“, no 4 on map above) was fine, but very exposed to the occa­sion­al­ly vio­lent winds that can fall down from the glaciat­ed slopes of Beeren­berg. Extreme wind con­di­tions led to a trag­ic acci­dent when sta­tion leader Aksel Liberg was sim­ply blown away dur­ing an attempt to get to the mete­o­ro­log­i­cal instru­ments of the sta­tion. His frozen body was found days lat­er, only 150 meters from the sta­tion buildings!

In the late 1950s, the Nor­we­gian mil­i­tary built a sta­tion on the south side of the island, where it is still today. Its name is Olonk­in­byen (Olonkin City), after a sta­tion man­ag­er who spent some years on Jan Mayen dur­ing the 20th cen­tu­ry. The pur­pose of the sta­tion was to serve the mil­i­tary LORAN (Long range nav­i­ga­tion) sys­tem, which one would think is obso­lete in the days of GPS and rumours were that it was to be aban­doned dur­ing the years after 2000, but the rumours have gone and the sta­tion is still there (to my knowl­edge, the LORAN func­tion was put out of use in 2006, but the sta­tion and a crew of around 19 are def­i­nite­ly still there). In 1962, the weath­er sta­tion moved to the LORAN sta­tion, as it had to be rebuilt any­way and it made logis­ti­cal­ly sense to have one sta­tion rather than two. The weath­er sta­tion itself is, strict­ly speak­ing, short­ly north of the actu­al LORAN sta­tion, close towards the run­way, which is occa­sion­al­ly used by Nor­we­gian air­force Her­cules planes to sup­ply the sta­tion, but it is not open for pub­lic use.

Reg­u­la­tions: Before I briefly sum­ma­rize those parts of the reg­u­la­tions that came in 2010 (see below), I want to describe the sit­u­a­tion until then and make some com­ments.

Until 2010, those few vis­i­tors who made it up to Jan Mayen could pret­ty much land any­where, depend­ing on wind, weath­er and sea (which meant that some did not land at all, oth­ers had to be hap­py with a few wet hours in Kval­ross­buk­ta and some lucky ones made it to a num­ber of inter­est­ing sites with­in a 1-2 day vis­it). F0r a few adven­tur­ous polar enthu­si­asts, it was logis­ti­cal­ly chal­leng­ing but legal­ly pos­si­ble to land some­where con­ve­nient to estab­lish a base camp some­where near Beeren­berg to hike and climb up to the sum­mit of the glaciat­ed vol­cano crater, 2277 above the wave-hid­den shores, to enjoy some mag­nif­i­cent views in a rare moment of clear skies. 

In late 2010, how­ev­er, the Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment declared Jan Mayen a nature reserve, some­thing that is gen­er­al­ly to be wel­comed in the days of the fish­ing and oil indus­try putting more and more pres­sure onto the remotest areas. But it remains a mys­tery why Nor­we­gian author­i­ties con­sid­er the minia­ture tourism on Jan Mayen a threat to the envi­ron­ment. One can only guess that nobody seri­ous­ly does, the author of these lines is cer­tain they sim­ply don’t like it. Argu­ments giv­en by rel­e­vant author­i­ties dur­ing the hear­ing that was held before leg­is­la­tion final­ly came into force do hard­ly go beyond gen­er­al and rather weird state­ments that Jan Mayen is a poore­ly under­stood ecosys­tem that needs accord­ing­ly to be pro­tect­ed from risks unknown (and hard to imag­ine, one might add) based on a pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ci­ple. Of course also some­thing that is cer­tain­ly to be wel­comed: don’t let bad things hap­pen in the first place. The author finds it hard to argue against it. But the „pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ci­ple“ is sim­ply so over-stretched here that it can­not be described with any oth­er words but ridicu­lous. What harm should be done by putting up a few tents for a few days on dark vol­canic sand? What is the envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit in not let­ting rare ship-based vis­i­tors go ashore on often drift­wood-cov­ered beach­es to see, for exam­ple, the remains of the Aus­tri­an win­ter­ing sta­tion in Maria Muschbuk­ta, or the small mon­u­ment that was erect­ed at Koksslet­ta to com­mem­o­rate five Eng­lish sci­en­tists who died dur­ing a boat acci­dent in 1961. Of course, tram­pling boots may poten­tial­ly cause harm to veg­e­ta­tion (where present) or his­tor­i­cal sites, but expe­ri­ence from oth­er polar areas such as Antarc­ti­ca or Spits­ber­gen has shown that this can be done suc­cess­ful­ly with­out clos­ing large areas down (although Nor­we­gian author­i­ties have in recent years start­ed to imple­ment sim­i­lar­ly shi­z­o­phrenic legal action in Spits­ber­gen as well). Vis­i­tor num­bers could be lim­it­ed, camp­ing on veg­e­ta­tion can be pro­hib­it­ed, waste man­age­ment etc could be imple­ment­ed (and is imple­ment­ed, of course), dam­ag­ing plants and dis­turb­ing wildlife can be (and is) pro­hib­it­ed, min­i­mum dis­tances e.g. to impor­tant seabird breed­ing cliffs could be set etc. etc. there is sim­ply no need to close a fas­ci­nat­ing and unique place such as Jan Mayen almost com­plete­ly down for the pub­lic. Those few who actu­al­ly take the effort to sail up there to have a clos­er look at some sites for a cou­ple of hours, of even spend some days to climb up Beerenberg.

So, what came with the law no 1456 on Novem­ber 19, 2010 that is called „Forskrift om fred­ning av Jan Mayen natur­reser­vat“? The main points are: tourists are not allowed to go ashore or camp with­in the nature reserve (a strong con­trast to the way nature reserves are designed and man­aged so far in Spits­ber­gen). The nature reserve com­pris­es the whole island except the sta­tion area and a small­er area in Kval­ross­buk­ta. This means effec­tive­ly: you can land only at Kval­ross­buk­ta or at Båtvi­ka near the sta­tion. From there, you are actu­al­ly allowed to walk any­where you can, but you are not allowed to camp else­where either. As ship-based vis­i­tors will usu­al­ly nei­ther have enough time nor the abil­i­ty to walk very far, this means that most parts of Jan Mayen are effec­tive­ly closed off. The offi­cial version is (accord­ing to hear­ing doc­u­ments) that this is not the case: fol­low­ing this version, traf­fic is not banned, but only „chan­neled“, as you can actu­al­ly walk from the two remain­ing land­ing sites. But this is prac­ti­cal­ly vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble for most. The island is prac­ti­cal­ly almost com­plete­ly closed. Full stop.

Final­ly now the text of the 2010 law. As far as vis­i­tors are con­cerned, rel­e­vant parts include the fol­low­ing ones (trans­la­tion by the cur­rent author. No offi­cial translation):

Chap­ter 1 (§§1-3) describes the extent and pur­pose of the nature reserve.

§ 2 (excerpt):
The „Jan Mayen nature reserve“ includes the whole island except a „busi­ness area“ (virk­somhet­som­råde) on the east side of the island (Olonk­in­byen (the LORAN sta­tion), the weath­er sta­tion and the run­way) and a small­er area in Kval­ross­buk­ta on the west side of the island … togeth­er with ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters except a small­er area at Båtvi­ka (the small bay near the sta­tion. Author).

§ 3 Aims (com­plete translation):
The pur­pose of the pro­tec­tion is to pre­serve an almost untouched arc­tic island and near­by seas, includ­ing the sea bot­tom, with a unique land­scape, an active vol­canic sys­tem, spe­cial flo­ra and fau­na and many his­tor­i­cal rem­nants, and espe­cial­ly, to pro­tect the following:

  • The island’s great and unique landscape
  • The island’s pecu­liar vol­canic rocks and landscapes
  • The island as an impor­tant habi­tat for seabirds
  • The close rela­tion­ship between marine and ter­res­tri­al life
  • The spe­cial ecol­o­gy that is devel­oped on iso­lat­ed islands
  • The his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive rep­re­sent­ed by cul­tur­al her­itage from all main peri­ods of Jan Mayen’s history
  • The island and near­by marine area as a ref­er­ence area for reserach.

(author’s com­ment: who wouldn’t agree with all the above? Can any­one please tell me how occa­sion­al Zodi­ac land­ings with tourists walk­ing under super­vi­sion by guides with­in rather lim­it­ed areas and a few moun­taineers hik­ing up Beerenberg’s glaciat­ed slopes could do any harm to the above-men­tioned or any oth­er values?)

Chap­ter 2 (§4) goes into details regard­ing what is allowed and what not:

§ 4. Land­scape, nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment, flo­ra, fau­na, cul­tur­al her­itage, traf­fic and pol­lu­tion (com­plete­ly translated):

  1. Land­scape, nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment and cul­tur­al heritage
    1. No action may be tak­en that can affect the land­scape, nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment or cul­tur­al her­itage, includ­ing set­ting up build­ings, con­struc­tions … remov­ing drift­wood … build­ing roads, quays, air­fields, use of fish­ing gear that may dam­age the sea bot­tom, drainage or any oth­er way of set­ting areas dry, drilling, explo­sions or sim­i­lar and removal of min­er­als or oil.
    2. Nobody may dam­age, dig out, move, remove, change, cov­er, hide or deface lose or fast cul­tur­al her­itage or start action that includes a risk of such tak­ing places.
    3. The reg­u­la­tions of pt. 1.1 do not restrict the following:
      • use of per­mit­ted fish­ing gear at sea except equip­ment that may cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the sea bottom
      • nec­es­sary main­tainance of the exist­ing road between Olonkinbyen/airfield and Kvalrossbukta
      • nec­es­sary main­tainance of the exist­ing road/track between Trongskarkrys­set og Gam­le Metten 
      • local use of drift­wood for main­tainance and heat­ing of exist­ing huts on the island and small­er campfires.

Points 2 and 3 of § 4 are fol­low­ing­ly briefly sum­ma­rized by the author:
Pt. 2 of § 4 deals with flo­ra and fau­na, which is pro­tect­ed against all dam­age, destruc­tion and dis­tur­bance of any kind unless caused by legal traf­fic. No new species of ani­mals or plants, includ­ing genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied species, may be intro­duced. Point 2.3 of § 4 spec­i­fies excep­tions for fish­ing, which is per­mit­ted as spec­i­fied by rel­e­vant Nor­we­gian author­i­ties (fish­ing and coastal depart­ments) as long as it does not dam­age the sea bottom.
Pt. 3 of § 4 deals with his­tor­i­cal sites. All arte­facts and traces from human activ­i­ty which is old­er than 1946 is auto­mat­i­cal­ly pro­tect­ed. Younger arte­facts may also be pro­tect­ed, this is for exam­ple the case with Gam­le Met­ten, the sta­tion used after WWII. „Pro­tect­ed“ means that every­thing that might poten­tial­ly change the arte­fact and sur­round­ing site is for­bid­den. Every­thing means real­ly every­thing. Period. 

Pt. 4 of § 4 (com­plete):

  1. Traf­fic (non-motor­ized and motorized)
    1. All traf­fic shall take place in a way that does not dam­age or in any way dimin­ish the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment or cul­tur­al her­itage or leads to unnec­es­sary dis­tur­bance of animals.
    2. Putting up tents and camp­ing is only allowed for the sta­tion crew and their visitors.
    3. Land­ing per­sons with boats is not allowed inside the nature reserve. The sta­tion com­man­der may in spe­cial cas­es give per­mis­sion to land inside the nature reserve.
    4. Land­ings with air­craft is pro­hib­it­ed inside the nature reserve. From April 01 to August 31 it is, beyond nec­es­sary traf­fic to and from busi­ness areas, pro­hib­it­ed to fly clos­er than 1 nau­ti­cal mile from con­cen­tra­tions of birds or mam­mals. In the same peri­od, it is pro­hib­it­ed to use a ship’s horn, fire a gun or make any oth­er loud noise with­in 1 nau­ti­cal mile from bird colonies.
    5. Motor­ized traf­fic is lim­it­ed to vehi­cles that belong to the sta­tion and only on tracks and roads marked on the attached map.
    6. Pts. 1.1 and 4.5 do not restrict use of alter­na­tive routes in con­nec­tion to nec­es­sary offi­cial traf­fic („nød­vendig nyt­tekjøring“), if exist­ing roads and tracks as shown on the map can­not be used due to spe­cial weath­er- or wind situations.
    7. Pt. 4.5 does not restrict traf­fic with snow mobile or tracked vehi­cles on frozen and snow-cov­ered ground
      • for trans­port­ing goods to the sta­tion if the weath­er requires ships to anchor at oth­er places than Båtvika
      • for inspec­tion and main­tainance of installations
      • for trans­port con­nect­ed to main­tainance and deliv­ery of fuels and pro­vi­sions to exist­ing huts away from roads
      • for get­ting to the huts dur­ing week­ends and sim­i­lar occa­sions for recre­ation of the sta­tion crew.
    8. Author­i­ties can prohibit/regulate any traf­fic in the whole nature reserve or parts of it, if con­sid­ered nec­es­sary to avoid dis­tur­bance of wildlife or dam­age of veg­e­ta­tion or cul­tur­al heritage.

Pt. 5 of § 4 deals with pol­lu­tion, which is obvi­ous­ly most­ly pro­hib­it­ed. The remain­ing §§ (8-12) reg­u­late gen­er­al dis­pen­sa­tions for author­i­ties, admin­is­tra­tion, sanc­tions (fines or impris­on­ment up to 1 year) and imple­men­ta­tion (imme­di­ate­ly on Novem­ber 19, 2010). Maps attached. 

Chap­ter III (§§5-6) deals with excemp­tions, which are giv­en to, for exam­ple, author­i­ties includ­ing police, mil­i­tary and res­cue ser­vices. Per­mis­sion to move around etc. can also be giv­en in spe­cial cas­es for sci­en­tif­ic or oth­er reasons.

Chap­ter IV (§§7-9) spec­i­fies admin­is­tra­tive aspects includ­ing com­pe­tence etc.

Chap­ter V (§§10-12) makes sure you will be giv­en a hard time if you break the reg­u­la­tions (fine or impris­on­ment up to 1 year) and puts the law into force on Novem­ber 19, 2010.

Click here to read the com­plete orig­i­nal Nor­we­gian text of the law 1456 of Novem­ber 19, 2010: „Forskrift om fred­ning av Jan Mayen naturreservat“

last modification: 2021-08-01
copyright: Rolf Stange