Greenland and Canada
77.468, -69.25
April 2015

Pristine Seas Expeditions - Last Ice Area

As the sea ice declines, industrial activities such as fishing, shipping, mining, and drilling are expected to expand northward. These emerging threats will affect not only the area’s wildlife but also its Inuit communities, which have traditionally relied on these animals for food, dress, shelter, and energy.

To raise awareness of these dramatic changes in the high Arctic, Pristine Seas has collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund-Canada and worked closely with Inuit communities to document their stories and traditions. The team aimed at recording the ways in which Inuit culture is connected to the extraordinary local wildlife and evaluated how the disappearance of ice will impact these populations and their relationships with one another.

Pristine Seas conducted two primary expeditions to the region in 2015, filming Arctic wildlife and the traditional way of life of the Inuit and recording local stories and views on the ongoing environmental changes. The first of these expeditions focused on Qaanaaq, one of the most traditional Inuit villages in Greenland. The project's second expedition took place at Canada’s Baffin Island.

The Arctic is changing fast and the outcomes are unknown. Throughout human history the Arctic has represented the cold untouched wilderness and ice. But by 2040 we will be facing a new version of the frozen north as there will be no summer sea ice in the Arctic with the exception of the “last ice area,” north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. The loss of the ice is predicted with unprecedented certainty but the effects on wildlife, fauna, Inuit people and the far-reaching global effects of a warmer Arctic are yet to be understood.

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