Deep-sea News (24-31 July)

Date: July 31, 2023

Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 24-31 July 2023

Deep ocean targeted for mining is rich in unknown life

Source: Phys.Org

Author: Kelly MacNamara

A number of studies show that a vast area at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean earmarked for controversial deep sea mineral mining is home to thousands of species unknown to science and more complex than previously understood.

The more we look, the more we find. This intensifies concerns about controversial proposals to mine the deep sea. On Friday, the International Seabed Authority agreed a two-year roadmap for the adoption of deep-sea mining regulations, despite conservationists’ calls for a moratorium. “With the science as it is at the present day, there is no circumstance under which we would support mining of the seabed,” said Sophie Benbow of the NGO Fauna and Flora.

Bottom Trawling Ban Needed To Save Plummeting Fish Populations

Source: Scoop New Zealand

Author: Greenpeace New Zealand

“It is clear that if we want a healthy and thriving ocean and not barren wastelands devoid of life – then we need bottom trawling gone from seamounts.” – Karli Thomas, campaign co-ordinator at the DSCC.

New information showing plummeting numbers of orange roughy on seamounts and other features demonstrates why bottom trawling must be banned from these biodiverse areas, say Greenpeace and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC). Greenpeace Aotearoa oceans campaigner Ellie Hooper says urgent action must be taken to protect this species and seamount habitats – which are known biodiversity hotspots.

Indigenous Pacific leaders call on countries to support ban on deep sea mining

Source: Greenpeace

Last weekend, Greenpeace International video projections featuring civil society leaders from the Pacific region calling for a halt to deep-sea mining were seen across Mexico City, Mexico, Toronto, Canada, Dover, UK, and Kingston, Jamaica.

The videos were made during the recent International Seabed Authority (ISA) meeting in Kingston to share Indigenous perspectives about the impacts that the deep-sea mining industry would have on their region’s cultural heritage, food security, and livelihoods.

“We call on world leaders to be better stewards of our ocean by joining the call for a precautionary pause or moratorium or taking on the Pacific call of the last decade for a ban on this destructive neo-colonial industry.” – Joey Tau, the Extractives Campaigner with the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) based in Suva, Fiji.

International talks end without go-ahead for deep-sea mining

Source: The Guardian

Author: Karen McVeigh

The International Seabed Authority meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, to negotiate rules over deep-sea mining ended with no green light to start industrial-scale mining.

Sofia Tsenikli, of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, said: “What is clear is that the growing opposition to deep-sea mining has burst the ISA bubble, and pro-mining interests now know business as usual is over. “The need to protect the ocean from the impacts of mining took centre stage inside and outside of the ISA during these weeks, despite efforts to silence the debate.” The session ended with an 11th-hour agreement to hold formal discussions next year on the protection of the marine environment.

Seabed watchdog accuses miner of ignoring procedures after spill

Source: Financial Times

Author: Kenza Bryan

The International Seabed Authority supervisor of the world’s seabeds has accused a company in line to become the first to start harvesting battery metals from the ocean floor of failing to follow its own risk management rules after it caused a slurry spill in the Pacific.

The investigation concluded that the company’s handling of the incident showed “insufficient risk awareness” and failure to follow its own risk management procedures. Duncan Currie, a lawyer at the non-profit Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, said the judgment of the UN-backed International Seabed Authority was not harsh enough. “If [the ISA] does not consider a spill such as this to be a problem, this raises real concerns about their ability to regulate a full-blow mining operation,” he said.

Posted on Categories Fisheries Mining