Scientific rationale and international obligations for protection of active hydrothermal vent ecosystems from deep-sea mining

Date: April 1, 2018

Authors: C.L. Van Dover, S. Arnaud-Haond, M. Gianni , S. Helmreich , J.A. Huber , A.L. Jaeckel , A. Metaxas, L.H. Pendleton, S. Petersen, E. Ramirez-Llodr, P.E. Steinberg , V. Tunnicliffe , H. Yamamoto.

This paper summarizes 1) the ecological vulnerability of active vent ecosystemsand aspects of this vulnerability that remain subject to conjecture, 2) evidence for limited mineral resourceopportunity at active vents, 3) non-extractive values of active vent ecosystems, 4) precedents and internationalobligations for protection of hydrothermal vents, and 5) obligations of the International Seabed Authority underthe UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for protection of the marine environment from the impacts of mining.

Available in English.