Latest News

23
Mar
2020

Source: RFI
Author: Silvia Celi

The race for mining exploration of the seabed continues despite the moratorium requested by the Coalition for the Conservation of Deep Waters. Even countries that signed the Paris Agreement and active members of the UN are ready to explore those areas that man still does not know well.

Continue reading LISTEN: Mining exploration would put the biodiversity of the seabed at risk

17
Mar
2020

Source: The Conversation
Author: Lucy Woodall

Oceans cover over 70% of our “blue” planet and are vital to its health. For instance carbon moves in and out of the ocean and can be stored there for thousands of years. Oceans are also a source of food and livelihood to millions of people, and to the economies of coastal countries. They are also the largest habitable space on the planet and house many different organisms.

But there’s a great deal that scientists still don’t know about the world’s oceans.

Continue reading Why an Indian ocean deep sea mission will help the Maldives and Seychelles manage their oceans

12
Mar
2020

Source: The Guardian
Author: Karen McVeigh

Proposed mining of seabed could destroy unstudied ecosystems and disrupt vital carbon-storing functions, says naturalist

Sir David Attenborough has urged governments to ban deep sea mining, following a study warning of “potentially disastrous” risks to the ocean’s life-support systems if it goes ahead.

The study, by Fauna and Flora International (FFI), warns proposed plans to mine the seabed could cause significant loss of biodiversity, disruption of the ocean’s “biological pump”, and the loss of microbes important for storing carbon. The process, requiring machines operating thousands of metres under the sea, could also create plumes of sediment that smother areas far from the mining sites and kill wildlife.

Continue reading here.

12
Mar
2020

MEDIA REACTION

The new scientific report from Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) member Fauna & Flora International (FFI) sets out evidence that the risk posed by deep-sea mining to biodiversity and vital ocean services is too great to take.

As a result of the report, Sir David Attenborough has called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.

Continue reading SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH CALLS FOR A MORATORIUM ON DEEP-SEA MINING

20
Feb
2020

Source: CORDIS EU research results 

ATLAS Press release

A new model has projected that current trends in climate change could place over 50% of North Atlantic cold-water coral habitat at risk, while suitable habitats for commercially important deep-sea fish could shift by up to 1000 km northwards. These effects could have far-reaching impacts on the ocean, including significant loss of suitable habitats for deep-sea species, which will in turn affect economies and communities reliant on fish stocks.

Continue reading New Climate Model Projects Major Impacts on Coral and Commercially Important Fish Habitats in the Deep Atlantic due to Climate Change

19
Feb
2020

Source: Greenpeace NZ
Author: Jessica Desmond

As a result of the New Zealand government’s lobbying efforts on behalf of the fishing industry, a regional fisheries meeting this week has only made small steps toward increasing protection of the ocean from bottom trawling, and a Talley’s vessel has been taken off an international blacklist.

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) concluded its meeting in Vanuatu last night with disappointing results for deep sea life, largely as a result of New Zealand’s efforts to protect its destructive bottom trawling industry.

One of the ways SPRFMO protects deep sea corals is with the so-called “move on rule” where  fishing vessels must move to a new fishing area if they exceed the amount of destruction allowed to a particular species. The weight limit was previously set at 250kg for stony corals, but recent research showed that 250kg in the trawl net meant up to 85 tonnes of coral destroyed on the seabed.

In response to the science, the EU proposed reducing the limit to 25kg in the net, which would have significantly reduced the damage to deep sea corals. The proposal was supported by the US and Australia, but was vehemently opposed by New Zealand fishing industry lobbyists the High Seas Fishery Group, led by Talley’s, and the New Zealand government. The resulting weak compromise sets a new 80kg limit, allowing as much 33 tonnes to be destroyed on the seabed in a single trawl.

“The New Zealand bottom trawling industry is stuck in a  mindset of dragging up as much profit from the deep sea as it can get, no matter what the cost to our ocean. Other countries are trying to move on from this scorched-earth approach to fishing, but the New Zealand government seems determined to let our industrial fleets continue their rampage,” said Jessica Desmond of Greenpeace New Zealand, at the meeting as part of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition delegation.

Talley’s ship taken off blacklist

The New Zealand government also insisted that a Talley’s fishing vessel, the Amaltal Apollo, be taken off the SPRFMO draft IUU (Illegal, unregulated, unreported) blacklist, despite trawling 14 times in an area closed to fishing in May 2018. The vessel was allowed to continue fishing in international waters for the rest of the 2018 fishing season. While the government is prosecuting the company and the skipper, the case still hasn’t been through the courts and MPI is still letting the vessel fish in New Zealand’s seas in the meantime.

“As a Kiwi I’m appalled. The New Zealand government has basically just gone to bat for Talley’s, despite its pending prosecution, and managed to get the Amaltal Apollo removed from the draft blacklist, even though nothing has changed since last year when it was blacklisted.  The ship is still fishing – just not on the high seas – and we call on the government to refuse it a high seas permit in this year’s fishing season,” said Jessica Desmond.

“It’s sad to say, but the New Zealand government has been captured by the deep-water fishing industry. It is acting as their advocate rather than as a government.”