Concerns about climate change, a need to restructure, a desire for sustainable development, a lack of regulations on tourism and an exodus of young people from the north. These are the recurring themes in Kystpuls (Coastal Pulse) in 2019, according to a new report from the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic.

The Centre has travelled up and down the Norwegian coast, from Longyearbyen in the north to Kristiansand in the south, with the debate tour “Kystpuls”. The goal was to bring people together to discuss how we will live off the sea – now and in the future. The Kystpuls report, one outcome of the tour, was released on 5 March.

“Through Kystpuls we have invited a wide range of interest groups – business, government, academia, environmentalists, and students at all levels from primary school to univeristy – to talk about the challenges and opportunities that exist along the coast and in the ocean. The Kystpuls report is an earnest attempt to summarise the opinions and conversations we had the privilege of hearing in 2019,” says Centre Director Jan-Gunnar Winther.

During the tour, participants have discussed how Norway can live off a healthy sea, harvest sustainably, create jobs, and succeed in restructuring. The coastal pulse has beat fast, weaving together myriad voices and opinions. Nevertheless, some themes emerged repeatedly among the debaters.

“We see broad agreement that the green shift is necessary, and an understanding that we will all pay a price. Opinions on how to achieve a climate-friendly society may diverge, but the people we've met agree that politicians need to show leadership and make some tough, unpopular decisions on our behalf – they’re prepared for that,” says Winther.

“During Kystpuls, we have also heard that the tourism industry is expanding without adequate regulations being in place. Both locals and the tourist industry express concern about limited capacity for search and rescue operations, a huge climate footprint, and the lack of a national plan for tourism. That so many young people are moving away from northern Norway is another trend that concerns many,” he concludes.

Overview of Kystpuls events in 2019

Date

Place

Topic

19 Mar

Longyearbyen

Climate of the future: What can we learn from society in Svalbard?

21 Mar

Kirkenes

Sea meets land – the north as a hub for the future of transport?

09 Apr

Tromsø

How do the workers of the future secure the sea’s riches?

10 Apr

Harstad

From sailing ships to electric cruisers: the shipping industry as an engine for blue growth

25 Apr

Svolvær

Sustainable blue tourism: Where will this journey take us next?

21 May

Lovund

Aquaculture of the future: a sustainable economic pillar for coastal communities?

15 Oct

Trondheim

Ocean technology – the key to success?

16 Oct

Ålesund

Norway – the nation of fisheries

05 Nov

Bergen

Knowledge for the future of ocean management

06 Nov

Stavanger

Innovation for blue growth

19 Nov

Kristiansand

The array of ocean-based energy in the future

20 Nov

Oslo

Financing marine innovation of the future