Deep-sea mining causes massive loss of species lasting for decades

Date: September 7, 2018


In cooperation with an international team, Senckenberg scientists examined the impact of deep-sea mining – such as the extraction of manganese nodules – on the species diversity at the ocean floor. They were able to show that even 26 years after the end of the mining activity a significant loss of ground-dwelling organisms can be registered. Filter-feeding animals are particularly affected – more than two decades after the mining operations, almost 80 percent of the species remain absent. The study was recently published in the scientific journal Biogeosciences.

As a matter of course, mining activity leaves traces behind – this is also true for the extraction of raw materials from the ocean floor. “There are reliable studies that show that the extraction of manganese nodules, for example, has a negative impact on life in the deep sea,” explains Dr. Lidia Lins of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, and she continues, “However, if and when the animals will recover from the effects of mining has been insufficiently studied to date.”

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