Tempelfjorden, Norway, 15 May 2019 – Greenpeace has partnered with a group of musicians to record an ice concert in the far north of the Arctic. They played a piece called ‘Ocean Memories’ on instruments carved from ice collected in Arctic waters.

With temperatures below -12 degrees celsius, the rhythms of chimes, horns, ice percussion and a cello blended together to send a message for the need to protect at least 30% of our global oceans by 2030. The performance took place on 2 May and the video is released today.

“You have to treat ice with respect, otherwise it breaks. We should do the same with nature”, said Terje Isungset, the lead musician on the three minute performance composed exclusively for the occasion.

“By putting the spotlight on the Arctic ocean and ice loss, we want to emphasise the immediate need for ocean sanctuaries not only for the north pole, but for the entire planet,” said Halvard Raavand, oceans campaigner from Greenpeace Nordic. “Over the next year, governments are negotiating at the United Nations towards a Global Ocean Treaty that could pave the way for the creation of a network of ocean sanctuaries.”

He continued, “This is a unique opportunity for governments to work together and create healthy oceans that are our best ally against a changing climate. The science is clear: our oceans are in crisis. All we need is the political will to protect them.”

The Arctic is this year suffering from a record breaking ice loss and in April this year, the average temperature was 8 degrees above normal. To highlight the many threats facing the oceans and to campaign for a Global Ocean Treaty covering all seas outside of national waters, Greenpeace is in the Arctic on its most ambitious expedition ever: an almost year long Pole to Pole voyage [1, 2]. In this first leg, Greenpeace’s ships the Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise have  travelled to the northern ice edge to shine a light on the enormous threat posed by climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution to the Arctic ocean [2].

Photo and video: images, videos and audio from the ice concert, can be accessed here. A collection of ocean photo and videos, can be accessed here


[1] Pole to Pole Expedition: see here for a map of the pole to pole expedition route. See the ‘contact’ section below for expedition enquiries, including for media interested in joining the ship on-board.

[2] Global Ocean Treaty: the second of four rounds of negotiation at the UN towards a treaty covering international waters took place in April this year. The third round of negotiations will take place at the United Nations in New York in August 2019, with the treaty process hopefully concluding with a fourth and final round in spring 2020.  A robust Global Ocean Treaty could provide the legal framework for the protection of international waters, making possible the creation of fully-protected Marine Protected Areas, or ‘ocean sanctuaries’, free from harmful human activities. Greenpeace is calling for a network of ocean sanctuaries covering at least a third of the world’s oceans by 2030, a target called for by scientists at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and welcomed by a growing number of governments. For more information: Protect the Global Oceans: Why We Need a Global Ocean Treaty. For a detailed policy briefing see here.

[3] The Arctic Sunrise and the Esperanza are operated by Greenpeace International.


Julia Zanolli, Global Media Lead for Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, [email protected], +44 07971 769107

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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