Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 27 June – 3 July 2023
‘MORE THAN THE ENTIRE GLOBAL DEFENCE BUDGET’: NEW REPORT SHOWS THAT TRYING TO FIX THE PERMANENT DAMAGE DEEP-SEA MINING WOULD CAUSE IS SO COSTLY NO ONE COULD AFFORD IT
Source: Planet Tracker
Environmental damage due to deep-sea mining would dwarf that of terrestrial mining in terms of km3 impacted, new Planet Tracker analysis shows. Planet Tracker argues that the environmental damage expected from deep-sea mining is not aligned with intergovernmental and national policy agendas which aim to halt biodiversity loss and promote nature restoration, as well as recent treaties to protect ocean life.
Biodiversity impacts are a key concern for deep-sea mining, and the report estimates that the total biosphere impacted by nodule mining in abyssal plains in international waters alone would be up to 25–75 million km3, more than the volume of all freshwater in the world, including ice and snow. François Mosnier, Head of the Oceans programme at Planet Tracker, comments: “There are many false solutions to the climate crisis, but deep-sea mining is one that can still be stopped… We call on financial institutions to join others in supporting a moratorium on deep-sea mining: the cost of attempting to fix this entirely avoidable mistake would be so high it could derail the much needed investments needed to tackle the climate and nature crisis. A moratorium is crucial and achievable.”
Swiss want moratorium on deep-sea mining
Switzerland has decided to push for a moratorium on commercial exploitation of the international seabed area. Bern said deep-sea mining in the area “must be postponed” until protection from the “harmful effects” could be ensured.
Switzerland is a stronghold for commodity trading. It is home to large companies like Glencore—active in coal, metals and oil – or firms like Vitol or Trafigura, based in Singapore but with a large operations center in Geneva. With a net profit of $17.3 billion in 2022, Glencore is a juggernaut in the brokerage of metals, such as copper, zinc, nickel or cobalt. Greenpeace called it a “success for the oceans”, and wildlife conservation group WWF said, “Switzerland is sending an important signal for the protection of the oceans and their biodiversity”.
THE ITALIAN FISHER TAKING ON INDUSTRIAL DEEP-SEA TRAWLERS
Source: Huck Mag
Author: Sam Haddad
Bottom trawlers use weighted nets that drop down to the ocean floor and are then dragged along, catching everything in their path while destroying sensitive habitats such as seagrass meadows.
“Bottom trawling is indiscriminate,” Dan Crockett, director of Ocean and Climate at the marine conservation organisation the Blue Marine Foundation. “When trawlers are at work, they have no idea what marine life and bycatch [the fish they don’t want and therefore discard] they’re destroying. They don’t know if they’re destroying something incredibly rare or endangered. It’s a genuine tragedy of the commons.”
Deep-Sea Baby Octopus Nursery Seen In Stunning Footage From Costa Rica
Source: IFL Science
Author: Tom Hale
Deep off the coast of Costa Rica, scientists have discovered a nursery teeming with octopuses. The Dorado Outcrop nursery was first explored in 2013 when scientists made the first-ever observation of female octopus gathering together to brood their eggs.
However, this is the first time they’ve seen the eggs hatching here, proving that the Dorado Outcrop can support young octopuses from birth. It also affirms the theory that some species of deep-sea octopus head to low-temperature hydrothermal vents for brooding their eggs. “The discovery of a new active octopus nursery over 2,800 meters [9,186 feet] beneath the sea surface in Costa Rican waters proves there is still so much to learn about our ocean,” Dr Jyotika Virmani, Schmidt Ocean Institute Executive Director, said in a statement.