Source: New Scientist
Author: Graham Lawton
From deep-sea mining to industrial-scale fishing, human activities in the oceans are expanding massively in a realm where few rules apply. Only now are we grappling with how to regulate the rush to plunder the seas.
As pressures on Earth’s land grow and terrestrial resources look increasingly exhausted, governments and corporations are seeing the next big wins on, in and under the high seas. Whether it is mineral exploration, shipping, energy, tourism, desalination, cable laying, bioprospecting or more, ocean-based industries are picking up speed fast.
This “blue acceleration” has many people worried. Our record on sustainable development on land is hardly good. With the power to profit from remote ocean resources growing rapidly, and the laws that govern their exploitation less than clear, we risk a free-for-all in the deep.