Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 7-14 August 2023
The debate over deep-sea mining
Source: NPR Illinois
Author: Michelle Harven
NPR Illinois convenes a panel of exports to talk about it, including Matthew Gianni, Political and Policy Adviser to the DSCC.
“We just don’t know enough about the deep sea to predict what the outcomes might be… Countries are starting to say ‘what’s the rush?'” – Matthew Gianni.
Companies and governments are shamelessly rushing into deep-sea mining for metals (cobalt, nickel, and copper) but others understand that reckless mining has the potential to disastrously decimate the delicate marine ecosystems that remain largely unexplored.
Metals bosses enjoy front row seat at UN deep-sea mining negotiations
Source: Climate Home News
Author: Matteo Civillini
Climate Home News identified at least 33 executives and employees of companies directly involved in the nascent deep-sea mining industry on the list of state delegations at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) annual meeting.
Louisa Casson from Greenpeace said the ISA has long been “a fortress for industry interests, with the private companies based in the Global North lobbying hard for deals that would maximise their profit”. The Ocean Foundation’s Bobbi-Jo Dubosh called for a comparison of the access given to mining industry representatives versus the restrictions being imposed on civil society and media, who often sit outside of closed-door meetings.
Fisheries plan ignores anti-bottom trawling protest
Author: Andew Bevin
A new fisheries plan in New Zealand leaves the door open on fishing subsidies and does little on bottom trawling, despite major public outcry.
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Ellie Hooper says the new plan does nothing meaningful to address destruction of the seabed. “We see this plan as a missed opportunity to protect the ocean from the ravages of bottom trawling and truly transform commercial fishing in Aotearoa.”
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Greenpeace and Legasea identified the proposal as a fishing subsidy, as did Eric Crampton of the New Zealand Initiative economic think tank, but the New Zealand Government maintains its plan as an anti-fisheries subsidies plan.
Scientists find A whole new ecosystem hiding beneath Earth’s seafloor
Source: Science Alert
Author: Carly Cassella
A vessel from the Schmidt Ocean Institute has discovered a whole new seafloor world that we didn’t know existed. Despite the darkness of these depths, life was teeming around these smoky, chimney-like vents, revealing a colorful ecosystem of worms, snails, and chemosynthetic bacteria, which don’t rely on sunlight but on minerals for energy.
Scientists only discovered hydrothermal vents, which gush hot, mineral-rich fluids in the deep ocean, in the 1970s. “The discovery of new creatures, landscapes, and now, an entirely new ecosystem underscores just how much we have yet to discover about our Ocean–and how important it is to protect what we don’t yet know or understand”, said Wendy Schmidt, president and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
David Lammy and William Hague are right to take up the fight against destructive deep-sea mining
Source: Evening Standard
Author: Rohan Silva
In a quietly significant move, English politician David Lammy has pledged that a future Labour government would support a ban on deep-sea mining in international waters.
The pledge from Lammy, MP for Tottenham and Labour’s shadow foreign secretary throws the UK’s weight behind a global movement to prevent catastrophic damage to marine life. It has also aligned Labour with Conservative MPs such as William Hague and Chris Skidmore, who have forcefully argued against deep-sea mining. It brings the UK into line with France, Switzerland, New Zealand and over a dozen other countries in calling for a pause – or a moratorium – to this environmentally disastrous agenda. The Evening Standard outlines the significance of this pledge.