The ocean depths were once considered just a setting for shipwrecks, monster squid and primordial ooze, but over past decades scientists have discovered a previously unknown wealth of biodiversity. The dark depths of our oceans are home to cold-water corals, sponge fields, seamounts, hydrothermal vents and a multitude of other ecosystems that shelter strange and mysterious creatures found nowhere else on Earth.
But this extraordinarily rich and fragile deep-sea life is under threat from a range of human economic activities. Posing the greatest direct, imminent, physical threat are fishing practices (the most destructive being deep-sea bottom trawling) and deep seabed mining.
The DSCC is urging States and policy makers to take strong measures and adopt robust regulations to ensure the protection of the ocean depths and of the species that are so often “out of sight, out of mind” – those that live in the deep sea.