Protecting the North Pole's wildlife & ecosystem
The 90North Foundation is focused exclusively on protecting the increasingly threatened wildlife and floating ice-reef ecosystem unique to the Arctic Ocean’s international waters – the survival of this wildlife being intimately connected with the fundamental need to conserve global biodiversity.
Our objective is to secure a North Pole Marine Reserve for these waters. The science-only status of this Reserve would apply to all surface shipping in these waters surrounding the North Geographic Pole.
It is quite possible the ocean surrounding the North Pole is one of the more significant generators of life on Earth – no-one knows! Researchers have only just been able to access the area, now that the sea-ice cover is reducing. But we do know these waters host some of our planet’s most loved species.
You may be surprised to learn this unique ecosystem supports: the spiral-toothed Narwhal; the white Beluga whale; the double-tusked Walrus; the offshore-hunting Arctic Fox; the world’s largest terrestrial carnivore, Polar Bear; all six species of Arctic seal (Harp, Spotted, Bearded, Hooded, Ringed, and Ribbon); the world’s largest dolphin, Orca; the world’s second largest animal, Bowhead Whale; and the animal (vertebrate) with the world’s longest lifespan (~500 years), the extraordinary Greenland Shark.
But more significant than any of these charismatic mega-fauna are the tiniest marine plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton), for these specialist Arctic ‘primary producers’ convert and store the sun’s energy into their living tissue, upon which the mega-fauna ultimately depend for their development and energy supply.
So the question you could ask is, Why are we even thinking of treating it as one of nature’s new business ‘goldmines’, rather than realising the rapid loss of sea ice is today’s largest single warning of ecological collapse?
This unique ecosystem urgently requires conservation measures to protect it from imminent exploitation, displacement and destruction by commercial fishing, cargo and cruise shipping, and mineral exploration and extraction vessels.
Please join us in our efforts to protect it – or otherwise the inevitable will happen on our watch.
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