Date: December 15, 2020

All the main Fisheries Advisory Councils to the EU Commission have said that deep-sea mining is neither sustainable nor compatible with the European Green Deal and should be stopped.

Providing advice to the EU Commissioner for Oceans and Fisheries on his response to the Green Deal, the Advisory Councils from across Europe said “Certain activities, such as deep-sea mining, oil and gas extraction or similar, are incompatible with the objectives of a sustainable Blue Economy and will need to be stopped altogether.”

Credit: NOAA/Bruce Strickrott

The EU Green Deal, published in December 2019, sets out the Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environment related challenges with a view to implementing a new growth strategy for a resource-efficient and competitive economy. The Commissioner for Ocean and Fisheries was tasked with integrating a vision for a Blue Economy into the plan with a focus on three areas: Preserving marine natural capital; Sharing profits and investing in innovation; Providing benefits to present and future generations.

The Long Distance Advisory Council (LDAC); Market Advisory Council (MAC); Mediterranean Advisory Council (MEDAC); North Sea Advisory Council (NSAC); North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC); and the Pelagic Advisory Council (PELAC) published a joint response which was additionally supported by the Baltic Sea Advisory Council (BSAC); Black Sea Advisory Council (BlSAC); South Western Waters Advisory Council (SWWAC); and the Outermost Regions Advisory Council (CCRUP).

These Advisory Councils provide expertise in fisheries, aquaculture, processing, trading and retailing.

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), which opposes plans to commence commercial deep-sea mining due to its lasting impact on vulnerable marine ecosystem services and wildlife, applauded the Councils for their action. Sian Owen, Coordinator of the DSCC said, “This is important recognition about the devastating impact deep-sea mining will have on the ocean and its ability to provide us with so many important goods and services, including climate mitigation. The Councils’ voice adds to the growing global opposition to deep sea mining. There is no room for a dinosaur industry in a modern, Green-Blue world.”

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