Pen Hadow is committed to bringing about an international agreement to create the North Pole Marine Reserve for the entire Central Arctic Ocean region. This will be the largest wildlife reserve in the world. To achieve this he founded the not-for-profit 90North Unit …
With the Arctic Ocean’s summer sea-ice cover reducing, the Central Arctic Ocean’s unique “floating ice-reef ecosystem” (Hadow, September 2017) is increasingly stressed because the sea ice provides the essential habitat for this ecosystem.
“Media reporting of sea-ice loss needs now to be less about the geophysical phenomenon of melting sea ice … and far more about the looming catastrophic loss of the floating ice-reef habitat and ecosystem which is inextricably linked to the existence of sea ice” (Hadow, September 2017).
But the imminent human threats resulting from increased accessibility to this newly-created open ocean – for example, from cargo shipping, commercial fishing, tourist cruising and mineral extraction – can be controlled before they even start.
Pen Hadow’s vision is the signing of an international agreement to create a permanently protected conservation area for the wildlife and ecosystem of the Arctic Ocean’s international waters by 2032 (when an existing voluntary ‘no commercial fishing’ agreement ends).
To deliver the vision, Hadow founded the 90North Unit, an independent, not-for-profit advocacy organisation. Its sole objective is to catalyse, support and promote the necessary international policy-making process through the Arctic Council and United Nations. It involves a 12-year road map of marine research, exploration, and policy campaigning through to 2032.
In autumn 2017 the story, research and images from his Arctic Mission voyage investigating marine pollution in the Arctic Ocean was used successfully by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a ‘Save Our Seas Act’ debate in the US Senate to successfully recover funding for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Programme.