The biodiversity of creatures living in the deep sea is unlike that seen in any other place on Earth, researchers have discovered. Analysis of brittle and basket stars living at different depths has shown major differences in the drivers of diversity, potentially providing a “global baseline for conservation efforts” for these deep dwelling creatures.
Source: ABC Far North Queensland
Athors: Mark Rigby and Alan Stephen
When a collaborative team of researchers set about exploring the depths of Osprey Reef, off the Queensland coast, they had no idea they would discover living fossils, ecosystems that have remained unchanged for millions of years and marine life thought alien to Australian waters.
A global petition urging the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to discontinue deep-sea exploration permits and to initiate a moratorium on deep-sea mining has gathered over 700,000 signatures from concerned citizens around the world. The petition will be presented later this week to the International Seabed Authority during the 21st Annual Meeting of the ISA in Kingston, Jamaica.
Source: Nature Climate Change
It is often assumed that deep-sea ecosystems are shielded from the effects of climate change at the surface. On the contrary, such ecosystems are likely to be particularly sensitive to changing oceanic conditions. For one thing, many are energetically dependent on organically rich particles, which are produced in surface waters before sinking to the sea floor as ‘marine snow’.
Source: Deep Sea Mining campaign
NGOs from Australia, Canada and India call for an international moratorium on deep seabed mining in light of the International Seabed Authority’s (ISA) issuing of 7 exploration licences for deep seabed mining in international waters.
The second Commission meeting of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) took place in Manta, Ecuador from 27-31 January.
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Australian Government that it will support interim measures at this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to stop unregulated destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling on the high seas. DSCC Australia Coordinator, Ms Lyn Goldsworthy, called the decision an essential first step towards protecting deep sea biodiversity saying “that high seas bottom trawling continues to wipe out the undiscovered worlds of our deep seas”.
On World Oceans Day, Greenpeace gave Australia a red card for its inaction to stop deep sea destruction, in particular the highly destructive fishing practice of high seas bottom trawling.
A billboard placed at Canberra Airport today aims to get public and political support for Australia to take a strong position in the United Nations in 2006 to protect deep sea life by agreeing to a global moratorium on the destructive fishing practice of bottom trawling on the high seas.
58 Australian marine scientists have sent a letter to the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard urging him to “take advantage of an historic opportunity to secure significant protection for the world’s deep-ocean ecosystems on the high seas” by promoting the negotiation of a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling at this year’s United Nations General Assembly. (1) A week earlier, over 100 international marine scientists, conservationists and biodiversity experts attending the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC1) sent a letter to Australian Ministers for the Environment and Fisheries, Senators Ian Campbell and Ian MacDonald, urging them to stop deep sea destruction by supporting a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. (2) The letter was also sent to Heads of State attending the Pacific Islands Forum and delegates to the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which met last week in Hobart.