For the past year, Greenpeace ships have been voyaging across the Atlantic on a Pole to Pole expedition through the high seas, exposing the threats they are facing and campaigning for a strong Global Ocean Treaty that delivers real protection on the high seas.
During the expedition, Greenpeace together with scientists, artists and influencers have:
- Studied the impact of rapidly melting sea ice on the Arctic food web, revealing how climate change is acting as a threat multiplier across the global oceans.
- Called out the deep-sea mining industry and highlighted the shortcomings of the International Seabed Authority for “selling off the seabed” in ecologically significant areas.
- Discovered extreme concentrations of microplastic pollution in the Sargasso Sea.
- Studied changing movements of leatherback turtles from French Guyana across the Atlantic, highlighting how turtles are under threat.
- Showed how abandoned fishing gear keeps haunting marine life and jeopardizes habitats such as the unique Mount Vema seamount.
- Documented the drastic collapse in the Antarctic chinstrap penguin colonies, and mapped out the murky business of transhipment highlighting how it enables illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
- Visited ports and hosted visitors from heads of states to local leaders, changemakers and influencers from Svalbard and Iceland to Senegal, South Africa and Argentina.
Along the way, more than 150 influencers from all over the world and walks of life – scientists, politicians, artists, actors, civil society leaders – have pledged to use their influence to protect the oceans. By signing the Ocean Declaration they voice their support for creating a network of fully protected ocean sanctuaries, covering at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, and a strong Global Ocean Treaty to reach that objective.
Going further, Oscar-winners Olivia Colman and Dame Helen Mirren, along with Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey and Stranger Things’ David Harbour, lent their voices to turtles in a new animation that highlights the plight of the oceans. The award-winning studio Aardman, makers of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep, teamed up with Greenpeace UK to create Turtle Journey, a powerful short film showing the threats our oceans are facing, and the importance of protecting them.
While the fourth negotiating session towards a Global Ocean Treaty has been postponed, the ocean crisis is as urgent as ever. Greenpeace and over 3 millions of supporters urge Governments to show true leadership and to use the additional time wisely and creatively, to build bridges across disagreements and adopt a robust Global Ocean Treaty in 2020.