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 (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 and other international fora to call for action.
From the beginning, the DSCC has focused on two overarching goals:
Our objective is to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems and conserve deep-sea species, recognizing important precedents set for wider ocean conservation.
Today more than 70 organizations worldwide are working together under the umbrella of the DSCC to protect cold-water corals and vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. The DSCC is:
In 2013, the DSCC became a foundation in the Netherlands. 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.