1 July, 2015

The deep ocean is a vital force within the Earth system and must be protected from harm. The priority approach to the consumption of mineral resources should beone ofsustainability, reuse, improved product design and recycling of materials rather than exploring for new sources of minerals, including in the deep-sea. Ifdeep-sea mining is permitted to occur, it should not take place until appropriate and effective regulations for exploration and exploitation are in place to ensure that the full range of marine habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem functions are adequatelyand effectively protected, including through a network of marine protected areas and reserves.

Available in English.

1 July, 2015

In the late 1990s a number of deep-sea scientists began raising concerns in international bodies over the threats to barely explored, poorly understood deep-ocean ecosystems from a fishing practice known as deep-sea bottom trawling. This practice was on the increase as a result of new technology that enabled fishing vessels to go deeper and further out to sea in pursuit of fish. With the introduction of bottom gear with names such as ‘canyon busters’, scientists were alarmed by the prospect of losing species and unique habitats before they had even been discovered by science.

Available in English.

24 June, 2015

Authors: Ronald E. Thresher, John M. Guinotte, Richard J. Matear and Alistair J. Hobday

The deep sea hosts some of the world’s largest, oldest, and most sensitive ecosystems. Climate change and ocean acidification are likely to have severe implications for many deep-sea ecosystems and communities, but what, if anything, can be done to mitigate these threats is poorly understood.

Available in English.

 

1 May, 2014

Source: UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS)

The deep ocean, the largest biome on Earth at over 1000 metres below the surface of the ocean, holds vast quantities of untapped energy resources, precious metals and minerals. Advancements in technology have enabled greater access to these treasures. As a result, deep sea mining is becoming increasingly possible.

Available in English.

 

1 March, 2013

Currently, there are a range of mining operations in the shallow seabed, including diamond mining in Namibia and Tin mining in Indonesia. Due to rising demand for minerals and metals and declining land-based resources, there has been a recent surge of interest in exploration of both shallow and deep sea resources. However, there are environmental concerns with mining the seabed. Only a fraction of the deep sea has been scientifically studied to date and there have been no commercial scale mining trials so far. Nonetheless, given the nature, scale and locations of proposed seabed mining activities serious and, in some cases, widespread negative impacts on habitats and marine life can reasonably be expected.

Available in English.