Deep sea mining will not only impact seafloor ecosystems but also mid-water ecosystems, including fish stocks.
Many Pacific island countries, where most seabed mineral explorations are underway, are dependent on fisheries for livelihoods, nutrition and government revenue.
A decline in fish stocks due to deep sea mining could lead to an insecure food supply, decreasing revenue from fishing licenses, a loss of employment in fishing and fish processing, and community tension.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) legally classifies minerals on the international seabed as the common heritage of humankind, meaning they should be managed for the benefit of all.
But this definition raises questions on equity: who shoulders the burden and who will reap the benefits of resource extraction remains unclear.
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