Deep-sea news (20-27 March)

Date: March 27, 2023
Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 20-27 March 2023

Row erupts over deep-sea mining as world races to finalise vital regulations

Source: The Guardian

Author: Karen McVeigh

Head of seabed authority accused of abandoning neutrality at critical point with first commercial application imminent

Michael Lodge, a British Lawyer, has been accused of ‘overstepping’ in his role as chair of the International Seabed Authority. Diplomats have raised serious concern about Lodge’s supposed ‘neutrality’, accusing him of resisting states’ attempts to slow down negotiation proceedings.

Indigenous peoples from 34 nations call for total ban on deep sea mining

Source: Greenpeace

Author: James Hita

Indigenous activists have made clear that they don’t give their consent to deep sea mining. In a petition presented today to the ISA, over 1,000 signatories from 34 countries and 56 Indigenous groups called for a total ban on this destructive industry. 

Indigenous activists, scientists and leaders from across the world have come forward in one voice at the ISA meeting in Jamaica. Drawing attention to the flaws in ‘Western culture’s relationship with natural ecosystems’, they called for an effective and total ban on deep-sea mining.

Meet the nominees for the 2023 Ocean Awards

Source: BOAT International

Each year the Ocean Awards, held in partnership with Blue Marine Foundation, celebrates the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations from around the world dedicated to restoring the health of our oceans. 

This year Teina and Jackie Rongo from Kōrero o te ‘Ōrau have been nominated for the Local Hero Award, following their campaigning against deep-sea mining.

Deep Sea Mining Just Lost Its Biggest Corporate Backer

Source: Bloomberg UK

As activists accuse International Seabed Authority leadership of pushing ocean mining without due diligence, Lockheed Martin is exiting the nascent industry.

Lockheed Martin, the American defence corporation, has sold its UK ‘Seabed resources’ to a Norwegian startup. The sale comes as international calls against seabed ming grow in number and volume.

Hawaii Pushes For Ban On Deep-Sea Mining

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat

Author:  Mackenzie Olivo

Hawaii legislators are considering blocking any deep-sea mining developments before they get established in areas that could affect local marine waters. Senate Bill 376 would prohibit the extraction of minerals and mining in all state waters. The bill does not allow for any permits to be issued to any operation that impedes upon Hawaii seabeds. 

Following Canada, California and Washington, Hawai’i has created legislation to protect its national waters from deep-sea mining. This legislation does not protect international waters, and lawmakers have expressed concern about mining in the nearby Clarion Clipperton Zone, but the legislation marks a strong stance against the practice.

Deep-sea mining for rare metals will destroy ecosystems, say scientists

Source: The Guardian

Author: Robin McKie

An investigation by conservationists has found evidence that deep-seabed mining of rare minerals could cause “extensive and irreversible” damage to the planet.

Wildlife charity Flora and Fauna have released a comprehensive and influential paper, outlines scientific concerns that deep-sea mining would “cause widespread pollution, destroy global fish stocks and obliterate marine ecosystems”. The report also emphasises how little we understand about the deep-sea and how crucial further research is.

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