Our Current Focus

The objective of the DSCC is to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems and conserve deep-sea species, recognizing important precedents set for wider ocean conservation.

Toward this end, the DSCC’s work consists of:

  • International Seabed Authority. The DSCC is active at the negotiating table on deep seabed mining. At this time, the DSCC holds that there should be a moratorium on deep seabed mining, the adoption of seabed mining regulations for exploitation and the issuing of exploitation and new exploration contracts, unless and 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, among other conditions. To view the DSCC’s full position on deep seabed mining, read our position statement.
  • Regional and national implementation of UNGA bottom fishing resolutions. The DSCC continues to actively engage regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and other relevant bodies and processes to promote the adoption of legally binding regulations to implement the UNGA resolutions for deep-sea fisheries on the high seas of the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans.
  • Implementation of the European Union deep-sea fisheries legislation adopted in 2016. The EU formally adopted new legislation for the management of deep-sea fisheries in EU waters in December 2016. The legislation contains many of the provisions that the DSCC advocated over four years of negotiations (2013–2016). The DSCC will work to ensure effective implementation of the new regulation, within the context of the Common Fisheries Policy.
  • The 2016 UNGA Sustainable Fisheries Resolution. The resolution adopted by the UNGA in December 2016 reaffirms previous commitments, calling for specific sets of actions to address shortcomings where States and RFMOs have failed to fully implement the previous resolutions. It commits them to taking a series of additional actions to protect deep-sea species and ecosystems and sustainably manage deep-sea fisheries, adding new momentum. Our work from 2017–2019 will focus on preparations for the next UNGA review in 2020, a critically important year for the ocean.

In 2020, 

  • The next UNGA review of implementation of the deep-sea fisheries resolutions will take place.
  • The EU will review the implementation of its deep-sea legislation adopted in 2016. 
  • Countries must deliver their commitment under Sustainable Development Goal 14.2 to avoid “significant adverse impacts” on marine and coastal ecosystems.