A heavy fuel oil ban expansion in Svalbard entered into force January 1st, 2015. In addition to national parks and nature reserves it is now prohibited to use or carry heavy fuel oil in Kongsfjorden/Ny-Ålesund and Magnalenefjorden. Kongsfjorden and Magdalenefjorden are within Northwest-Spitsbergen national park where the heavy fuel oil ban has been in place for some time, but an exemption for these two fjords have applied until January 1st, 2015.
The ban means that ships that call in the national parks in the western parts of Svalbard and the nature reserves in the eastern parts are not to use nor carry on board fuel of any other grade than DMA as defined in the ISO 8217 Fuel Standard.
Very few expedition cruise vessels use or carry heavy fuel oil, but many conventional cruise vessels do. Magdalenefjorden and Kongsfjorden have been major areas for conventional cruise vessel traffic. It is expected that ship traffic in Isfjorden, where there is still no heavy fuel oil ban, will increase following this change in regulations.