Deep-sea mining: regulating the unknown

Date: March 15, 2019

Source: The Ecologist
Author: Amber Cobley

If you ask someone to describe the deep sea, the response is often a depressing description of a barren landscape devoid of life; one of such crushing pressure and eternal darkness that the chance of life surviving here seems only possible in stories of science fiction.

So, it would probably surprise you to hear that there are rich, deep-sea ecosystems under threat from an emerging ocean industry… and virtually no-one knows about it.

Within the next decade, the deep-sea mining industry plans to send 300-tonne vehicles to harvest tens of thousands km2 of deep seafloor for minerals considered vital to the future of green technology. But these hard mineral resources are also home to fragile and diverse ecosystems, some new to science and some yet to be found.

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