NORWAY: compensation grants to fishermen for seismic exploration of oil

Norway, an oil and gas rich country, continues its search for new fields under the sea-bed.

The search is carried out under the supervision of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the technique used is the so called "seismic testing". This is an exploration technique that targets oil and gas sediments under the sea bottom. To find these sediments, ships tow a high-intensity air guns that fires deep into the ocean. The blasts from seismic air gun can reach volumes of 260 decibels and are audible as far as 10 kilometers away.

From time to time Norwegian fishermen complain that these exploration trips are to the detriment of fishing as fish can be "scared" by the powerful blasts. These days there has been strong protest in the Nordland region of Norway against seismic exploration of sea areas around the aforementioned region. A number of economic operators (fishermen, buyers of fish) have submitted compensation claims for alleged economic losses due to seismic exploration. It seems that the claims run in the millions of Norwegian Krona.

It is the Fisheries Directorate that deals with the claims for compensation and that is charged with the payments.

An interesting detail is that whale hunters can also obtain compensation.

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