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. Those posing the greatest direct current or imminent physical threat are fishing practices – the most destructive being deep-sea bottom trawling – and deep seabed mining.

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) was founded in 2004 to address the issue of bottom trawling on the high seas, in the absence of an effective regime for the management of deep-sea fisheries on the high seas and in response to international concerns over the harmful impacts of deep-sea bottom trawling. Working with scientists, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and numerous governments, the DSCC has effectively and consistently targeted the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and other international fora to call for action.

From the beginning, the DSCC has focused on two overarching goals:

  • To substantially reduce the greatest threats to life in the deep seas; and
  • To safeguard the long-term health, integrity and resilience of deep-sea ecosystems.

Today more than 80 organizations worldwide are working together under the umbrella of the DSCC to protect cold-water corals and vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. The DSCC is calling on:

  • States to honor their commitments made at the UNGA to protect deep-sea species and ecosystems on the high seas from the harmful impacts of fishing;
  • The European Parliament and the Council of EU Fisheries Ministers to ensure the effective implementation of the regulation adopted in 2016 for the management of deep-sea fishing in the Northeast Atlantic; and
  • Management bodies and governments across the globe to issue a moratorium on deep seabed mining, the adoption of seabed mining regulations and the issuing of exploitation and new exploration contracts unless or until the environmental, social and economic risks are comprehensively understood and it can be clearly demonstrated that deep seabed mining can be managed in such a way that ensures the effective protection of the marine environment and prevents loss of biodiversity.

The DSCC was incorporated as a foundation in the Netherlands in 2013, with an affiliate in New Zealand from 2014. The Board of Directors is composed of:

  • Chair – Lance Morgan
  • Secretary – Sebastian Losada
  • Treasurer – Susanna Fuller

Grants received by the DSCC are used toward communications, advocacy, coordination and technical support, all relating to the objective of protecting vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems and conserving deep-sea species. According to the foundation’s bylaws, the members of the Board of Directors will not receive any remuneration in such capacity, directly or indirectly.

DSCC Annual Reports:

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