Deep-sea news (22-29 May)

Date: May 29, 2023
A spectacular group of Venus flower basket glass sponges (Euplectella aspergillum) glass sponges with a squat lobster in the middle.

Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 22-29 May 2023

What is the draft Fisheries Industry Transformation Plan?

Source: Greenpeace

Author: Ellie Hooper

The New Zealand Government’s draft Fisheries Industry Transformation Plan does little to meaningfully address the threat of bottom trawling.

The Fisheries Industry Transformation Plan sets out to tackle three main areas which include strengthening environmental performance, improving profitability and supporting people who work in the fishing industry and is currently out for public consultation. Despite the vast majority of New Zealanders who oppose bottom trawling, the plan fails to mention any timeline for transitioning from the methods. Public submissions to the plan are open until 11 June.

The race is on to stop deep-sea mining

Source: New Internationalist

Author: Graeme Green

2023 is a critical year for decision-making on deep-sea mining.

‘The ocean is a source of life for Pacific islanders,’ says Alanna Matamaru Smith, director of environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society. ‘It supplies us with food and helps keep our planet cool. We need to start giving back to our ocean – not taking more and more from it.’ More voices have been saying no to the race to mine the deep, but companies still push to move it forward.

Around 90% of species in proposed deep-sea mining zone are unnamed

Source: Natural History Museum

Author: Josh Davis

Two recent studies have examined the complete set of documented records pertaining to the species residing in one of these areas.

The findings indicate that the underwater terrain of this zone possesses a significantly greater level of biodiversity than previously acknowledged. The estimates from researchers have suggested that there are approximately 6,000-8,000 undiscovered species awaiting exploration, although they also caution that this figure is likely an underestimation.

Deep-sea mining hotspot teems with mystery animals

Source: BBC News

Author: Helen Briggs

Researchers sift through hundreds of papers and thousands of records to compile a giant inventory of marine life in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean.

The scientists have created the list as the first full stocktake of species to demonstrate the risks to biodiversity if deep-sea mining were to proceed within the zone. The vast majority (90%) are new to science and have yet to be given a scientific name. Read the article to see what the list contains.

Meet the ‘gummy squirrel’ and thousands of other newly discovered deep-sea species – in pictures

Source: The Guardian

Here are a few of the deep-sea creatures that have been recently discovered in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a vast area of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Mexico.

The CCZ has been targeted by deep-sea mining companies that are determined to exploit its minerals. A huge range of biodiversity has been discovered. Most of the creatures identified are new to science, and many are without names.

Posted on Categories Fisheries General Mining