Yet, although the new regulations on the in the world heritage fjords the Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord have been implemented, Rita Berstad Maraak, harbourmaster in Stranda municipality commented that the regulations are not strict enough.
She added that the protection of the fjords is a national concern, and the measures should be applied to all Norwegian territorial waters.
It is crucial to avoid letting sound environmental policies become a cause of unreasonable competition. If the regulations are made to apply only to the world heritage fjords, the emissions will simply move elsewhere. We applaud strict measures, but they should apply to everybody.
Although harbour masters in the area report of less smoke this summer, it is still hard to distinguish legal fumes from those that should not have been emitted in the first place. Jostein Lange Bergset, harbourmaster in Flåmadded added that although the new rules are followed by everybody, he is focused on more future regulations.
In addition, Erling Oppheim, director of the Nærøyfjord World Heritage Park highlighted the collaboration between the shipowners for the protection of the Fjords, noting that that they are teaming up with the cruise sector to promote the environment, climate and sustainable development of these areas.
Referring to 2026, Erling Oppheim commented
These will be exciting times. The Norwegian world heritage sites shall be a beacon, and we will turn words into action.
In light of the strict regulations, Bjørn Pedersen, head of the Department of Legislation and International Relations in the Norwegian Maritime Authority stated that they expect many cancellations as many will be those to comply with difficulty; 'As a consequence, the world heritage fjords will be open to vessels that may legally enter them.'
The good news is that there are new cruise ships that have the best and newest technology and comply with the requirements, and they will start arriving as early as next year
... Pedersen added.
The NOx restriction will be gradually implemented, beginning in 2020, and then being stricter in 2022 so that the cruise industry is able to comfortably comply; Yet, in 2025 the NOx emissions requirements will be the strictest.
As Pedersen concluded
Although we have seen improvements already this year, the major gains will come in the years ahead. We are therefore now considering the possibility of introducing stricter environmental requirements for shipping in Norwegian waters in general, not only in the world heritage fjords.