Deep sea news (13-20 February)

Date: February 23, 2023

Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 13-20 February 2023

Is it now or never for deep sea mining?

Source: Investment Monitor

Author: Jon Whiteaker

Deep sea mining has risen from the murky depths and gained visibility, but the nascent industry could be headed for trouble.

The next meeting of the ISA may be a “now or never” moment for deep sea mining. With this pivotal moment fast approaching, Investor Monitor looks at the financial incentives for deep-sea mining alongside the environmental threats and economic instability that surround it.

Underwater noise from deep-sea mining could threaten whales and dolphins

Source: The Metro

Whales and dolphins could be under threat if new deep-sea mining begins later this year, warns a new study.

A new paper published in ‘Frontiers in Marine Science’ is drawing attention to an often overlooked form of marine pollution. The sound pollution created by deep-sea mining would, the paper suggests, overlap and disrupt the sound frequencies used by whales and porpoises.

Mining at key hydrothermal vents could endanger species at distant sites

Source: Alpha Galileo

Destruction of key hydrothermal vents by deep-sea mining could have knock-on impacts for vent fields hundreds of kilometers away, suggests a new paper published in Ecology and Evolution.

The extreme environments created around deep sea hydrothermal vents allow for vast biodiversity. In a new study, scientists suggest that threats to hydrothermal vents (such as that posed by deep-sea mining) would have devastating effects far beyond their immediate area of destruction.

New Zealand blocks deep sea protection for South Pacific

Source: Greenpeace

Author: Emma Page

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) has given the green light to destroying up to 30% of vulnerable deep-water corals and sponges, following repeated lobbying from New Zealand against higher levels of protection.  

Duncan Currie, head of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) delegation at the meeting in Ecuador, told the meeting: “We are in no doubt that this measure is contrary to the UNGA bottom fishing resolutions, the FAO Guidelines, the SPRFMO Convention, UNCLOS and the Fish Stocks Agreement, but even worse, is directly contrary to the commitments to protect biodiversity that States here have signed up to.”