seafloor

5 July, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday 5 July 2019

Countries fishing on the high seas of the Indian Ocean have continued to seriously fail to uphold their commitments to protect deep-sea ecosystems from deep water bottom fishing,  said the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), as a fisheries management meeting for the Southern Indian Ocean came to an end today (5 July 2019).

At the conclusion of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) annual meeting in Mauritius, the DSCC, which represents over 80 non-governmental organizations, called on the body to seriously step up its protection of deep-sea ecosystems, vulnerable marine ecosystems, deep-sea sharks and toothfish. Deep-sea trawling continues to be permitted on seamounts in the region with inadequate constraints in place to protect deep-sea corals, sponges and other biodiversity hot spots.

Duncan Currie of the DSCC, who attended the meeting, said: “The inadequate decisions reached fail to adequately protect deep-sea ecosystems and species at a time when we know that we must escalate our collective efforts to protect the whole ocean. Governments need to step up and resist pressure by industry to weaken protection.”

The meeting addressed contentious issues, including the rapid increases in toothfish fishing by Spanish vessels in southern parts of the SIOFA area, adjacent to areas managed by CCAMLR, the international body for managing the Southern Ocean ecosystem. CCAMLR has taken measures to better manage its toothfish stocks. Also controversial was the decision to permit a bycatch of fragile sponges amounting 300 kg limit per trawl tow, over the recommended 60 kg limit. A DSCC request to reinsert a ban on removal of shark fins was rejected. The organization did agree a high seas inspection and boarding regime, which DSCC welcomes.

Duncan Currie said: “These fisheries agreements are supposed to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems such as sponges, not sanction their destruction.”

ENDS

The Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) was signed in Rome the 7th July 2006 and entered into force in June 2012. To date, SIOFA has nine Contracting Parties: Australia, the Cook Islands, the European Union, France on behalf of its Indian Ocean Territories, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Thailand.

 

For further information please contact:

Duncan Currie in Mauritius on +64 21 632 335, duncanc@globelaw.com
or
Matt Gianni on +31-646 168 899, matthewgianni@gmail.com

2 July, 2019

Source: Financial Times
Author: Henry Sanderson

Deep-sea mining risks “severe and potentially irreversible” environmental harm and the UK should prioritise protecting the ocean rather than extracting minerals from it, Greenpeace said. The government has awarded deep-sea exploration licences to a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which could lead to deep-sea mining despite Westminster being aware of the environmental risks, the environmental group said.

Continue reading Deep-sea mining risks ‘irreversible’ harm, warns Greenpeace

23 May, 2019

Source: Radio NZ
Author: Kate Gudsell

The petition was launched by environmental groups the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, ECO, Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, LegaSea and WWF-New Zealand as well as recreational fishers.

It is calling for the government to ban the destructive practice on seamounts, or submarine mountains, and other ecologically sensitive areas.

A recent report from NIWA on the impact of bottom trawling, concluded that the benthic communities on the seamounts had low resilience to the effects of bottom trawling.

It said New Zealand’s major deepwater fisheries occur on seamounts for a number of fish species, including orange roughy.

Continue reading here.

26 April, 2019

Source: Deutsche Well

Researchers recently explored hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California, up to 4,000 meters deep. DW spoke with marine biologist Greg Rouse about what kind of creatures live down there and how they manage to survive.

Continue reading here.

27 November, 2018

Source: EurekAlert!

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute have discovered nearly two dozen new types of microbes, many of which use hydrocarbons such as methane and butane as energy sources to survive and grow–meaning the newly identified bacteria might be helping to limit the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and might one day be useful for cleaning up oil spills.

Continue reading Newly discovered deep-sea microbes gobble greenhouse gases and perhaps oil spills, too