manganese

19
Nov
2018

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat
Author: Stewart Yerton

Critics fear rules for opening a swath of ocean bed between Mexico and Hawaii won’t protect “the most pristine wilderness on the planet.”

Deep on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, amidst one of earth’s greatest unexploited reserves of valuable minerals, are ecosystems of otherworldly creatures.

There are fast-moving sea urchins; anemones that perch like flowers atop long sponge stalks; translucent, tentacled sea cucumbers that look like something from Pokemon, and yellow gelatinous critters that University of Hawaii oceanographers have nicknamed “Gummy Squirrels.”

Continue reading Rushing To Mine A Sea Floor Full Of Treasure — And Unique Creatures

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31
Oct
2018

Source: Natural History Museum (UK)
Author: Katie Pavid

Scientists have collected data on a tiny sponge thought to be at risk from seabed mining.

This newly discovered species could be a ‘canary in a coal mine’ to allow scientists to monitor the impacts of this new industry.

The Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) is a vast area of the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii. At six million square kilometres, it is roughly 24 times bigger than the UK.

The zone is important because it’s the world’s largest area of ocean that is targeted for deep-sea mining. Mineral companies and nation states, eager to secure access to precious metals, are attracted to the area because it is rich in polymetallic nodules – small chunks of minerals scattered on the seafloor.

Continue reading The tiny sponge that could help preserve our deep oceans

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21
Sep
2018

Source: Nature
Author: Amy Maxmen

“Gummy squirrels,” single-celled organisms the size of softballs and strange worms thrive in a Pacific Ocean zone some considered an underwater desert.

Deep in the eastern central Pacific Ocean, on a stretch of sea floor nearly as big as the continental United States, researchers are discovering species faster than they can name them. And they are exploring newfound fossil beds of whales that lived up to 16 million years ago.

The findings — many reported for the first time last week at the Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey, California — have come as a shock. Some scientists had thought these vast underwater plains, 4,000–5,500 metres below the ocean surface, were relatively lifeless. But that is changing just as nations and corporations prepare to mine this patch of the Pacific sea bed for cobalt, manganese and other elements for use in technologies such as smartphones and electric cars.

Continue reading Discovery of vibrant deep-sea life prompts new worries over seabed mining

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