While penguins are considered the signature birds of Antarctica, choosing one representative for the Arctic is not an easy task. The great variety of endemic species are annually joined by thousands of migratory birds, all unique and beautiful in their own way.
Expedition cruises to the High Arctic are the best way to experience the abundant and fragile birds of the polar world. On this Arctic voyage, we were lucky to have Ola Nordsteien on board, a Norwegian bird researcher from the Jomfruland Bird Observatory. He shares his concerns about plastic pollution negatively affecting Arctic birds. Plastic waste accumulates rapidly and travels with the ocean currents, taking decades to break down. It poses a great threat to seabirds and other wildlife and, needless to say, does not belong in the picturesque landscapes of the wild islands and ocean basins. It’s up to all of us to take care of the polar ecosystem and wildlife to keep them pristine for future generations. Adjusting your daily plastic use and raising awareness are the easy steps that can be done. There are also ways to take action. In Svalbard, Poseidon Expeditions takes part in the “Clean Up Svalbard” initiative, reducing beach waste on each of our landings. This program is coordinated by AECO, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators. Joined by our passengers, we pick up the debris from the beach and later deposit it in a dedicated bin in Longyearbyen, where it will be properly processed.