New study shows no recovery of deep seabed 77 years after anthropogenic disturbance

Date: February 7, 2022

Source: Science Direct

Authors: Alan J. Jamieson, Todd Bond, Victor Vescovo

One of the concerns around deep sea mining is the time it is likely to take for previously undisturbed deep sea ecosystems to recover. A new study supports this theory, having found zero recovery of a large-scale anthropogenic sediment disturbance on the Pacific seafloor after 77 years at 6460 m depth.

The collector vehicles that extraction companies are planning to send down to strip-mine the abyssal plains weigh about 35 tons. That’s about four times the weight of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Scientists are profoundly concerned about the impact that these machines will have on deep ocean life, along with the effects of extracting integral elements of these ecosystems and stirring up sediment plumes that may travel hundreds of kilometers.

This new evidence suggests that mechanical perturbations of sediments in the deep Pacific may remain ecologically significant for, at the very least, 100 years.

Read the full article here.

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