Environmental Groups Call For Regulation As World Dives Into Deep Sea Mining

Date: July 10, 2015

Source: The Washington Post – Robert Gebelhoff

The technology and investment are ready, and the world is hurtling toward commercially extracting rare minerals thousands of feet beneath the ocean’s surface.

Gorgonocephalus caputmedusae, a sea star, was the first species ever recovered from the deep sea. (SERPENT Project/D.O.B. Jones)

Deep sea mining is one of those long-held commercial dreams that just decades ago seemed to be a sci-fi fantasy. But now that firms and international groups are preparing to shift their very costly exploratory projects into lucrative operations, environmental groups are pushing to get the right international regulations in place to protect deep sea ecosystems.

One group of international scientists submitted its proposal for environmental protections this week to the International Seabed Authority, the governing body that oversees activity on the seafloor in places not governed by individual countries. The scientists argue that mining should be prohibited in specific areas of the ocean floor throughout the world.

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