Coal mining is the major economic activity on svalbard. the treaty of 9 february 1920 gave the 41 signatories equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to norwegian regulation. although us, uk, dutch, and swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still mining are norwegian and russian. the settlements on svalbard are essentially company towns. the norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure. there is also some hunting of seal, reindeer, and fox.
2,165 (july 2008 est.)
Northern europe, islands between the arctic ocean, barents sea, greenland sea, and norwegian sea, north of norway
Total: 61,020 sq km
land: 61,020 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes spitsbergen and bjornoya (bear island)
Slightly smaller than west virginia
Conventional long form: none
conventional short form: svalbard (sometimes referred to as spitzbergen)
geographic coordinates: 78 13 n, 15 33 e
time difference: utc+1 (6 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last sunday in march; ends last sunday in october
Despite recent discussions, russia and norway dispute their maritime limits in the barents sea and russia's fishing rights beyond svalbard's territorial limits within the svalbard treaty zone
Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
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