European Parliament calls for international moratorium on deep-sea mining

Date: January 18, 2018

Source: Seas At Risk

Seas At Risk welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution on international ocean governance  adopted on 16th January, particularly its strong stance on deep-sea mining. In calling for an international moratorium, the European Parliament becomes a primary custodian of the deep sea, hopefully prompting the European Commission and Member States to follow suit.

This European Parliament resolution (approved by 558 of 666 votes) stresses the importance of applying the precautionary principle to the emerging deep-sea mining sector. It calls on the Commission and EU Member States to support an international moratorium on commercial deep-sea mining exploitation licences until such time as the effects of deep-sea mining on the marine environment, biodiversity and human activities at sea have been studied and researched sufficiently and all possible risks are understood.

The position, led by MEP José Inácio Faria, also urges the European Commission and Member States to withdraw support for deep-sea mining in international waters, including a refusal to issue permits for deep-sea mining on Member States’ continental shelves. This is particularly relevant for Portugal at present, which is currently considering a deep-sea mining application near the Azoresby the Canadian company Nautilus. Several other EU countries (Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, and Poland) sponsor deep-sea mining exploration contracts in international waters, emphasising the key role played by the EU and its Member States at international level.

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