Scientists warn of damage to deep seabed

Date: February 8, 2011

Human activities are affecting large areas of the deep seabed, according to a recent study – and trawling the seabed for fish is the most extensive.

More regulation is needed before the ocean floor suffers even more widespread damage, the scientists say. Better data on human activities – where they’re taking place and how much harm they are causing – is also vital to let us manage the whole ecosystem.

‘We have to know where the impacts are occurring!’ says Angela Benn of the National Oceanography Centre, who led the study. ‘It’s an urgent need – human activities are expanding into the deep sea at an unprecedented rate, and these ecosystems are under more pressure than ever before with new activities like carbon capture and storage, mining for minerals and deeper drilling for oil and gas.’

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