Brisingid asteroid on manganese encrusted rock with nodules.
For the first time, scientists have a comprehensive overview of the gaps in our knowledge about ocean areas targeted for deep-sea mining and how they could be impacted. New research, published in Marine Policy and co-authored by University of Hawai‘i at Manoa oceanographers, shows that the science is insufficient to support evidence-based decision-making should mining move forward.
These findings come as the International Seabed Authority prepares to meet in late March to discuss regulations that would allow commercial-scale deep-sea mining to begin as early as July 2023.
“This gap analysis highlights how much we still need to know about deep-sea ecosystems to effectively manage seabed mining, and to even know how damaging mining will be to ocean ecosystems from the seafloor to the ocean’s surface,” said Craig Smith, professor emeritus of oceanography at UH Manoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and study co-author. “Considering that the ecosystems targeted for mining are among the most pristine and biodiverse in the ocean, we must use extreme caution in moving forward with seabed mining. Otherwise, mining in the deep sea may accelerate the crises of species extinctions and loss of ecosystem services we are witnessing on our planet.”
The study was led by deep-sea biologist Diva Amon, a former postdoctoral scholar at UH who starred alongside Will Smith in an episode of National Geographic’s Welcome to Earth series on Disney+ and more than 30 other scientists and policymakers from around the world.
By reviewing hundreds of scientific articles and interviewing dozens of stakeholders, the study identifies gaps in environmental knowledge for areas of the deep seabed targeted for mining. Further, the authors propose a path for filling those gaps to help policymakers better understand the negative ecological and economic impacts that mining would cause so they can ground their decisions in science.
“Besides being a vast reservoir of biodiversity, the deep ocean provides us with benefits ranging from carbon sequestration, to medicine, to food chains that sustain billions of people,” said Amon, who is a marine biologist and director and founder of SpeSeas. “But climate change, habitat destruction, and overfishing are already stressing the ocean, and seabed mining would jeopardize ocean health even more. If we continue to proceed on this path blindly, we will lose parts of our ocean before we truly know them and the benefits they offer. We can’t effectively manage and protect what we don’t know, understand and value.”
Original Article: Scientists warn too many unknowns for deep-sea mining
More from: University of Hawaii
The Latest on: Deep sea mining
- Ocean Mineral Singapore complies with rules for deep sea mining exploration: MTIon August 6, 2022 at 1:43 am
Possible environmental impacts of deep sea mining had come to the fore during a UN conference in June this year. Read more at straitstimes.com.
- Deep sea mining could provide materials to help us quit fossil fuels — but at a coston August 5, 2022 at 7:07 pm
Building everything necessary for fighting climate change is going require metal. There's plenty on the ocean floor. But extracting it is controversial because it involves deep sea mining.
- Māori Party 'extremely optimistic' about Members' Bill proposing deep sea mining banon August 5, 2022 at 5:58 pm
Some mining companies say the answer is deep sea mining. But Te Pāti Maori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer disagrees - she wants a ban and her Members Bill was drawn in Parliament this week. She spoke ...
- Key countries oppose deep sea mining as regulations advance to open the industryon August 5, 2022 at 8:43 am
The time bomb that would launch the industry was triggered last year when the Pacific country of Nauru, a state sponsor of aspiring deep sea miner The Metals Company, activated an obscure legal ...
- WWF welcomes call for caution on deep seabed mining at International Seabed Authorityon August 5, 2022 at 3:56 am
The rule, which says the ISA must develop regulations within two years if a country intends to apply for approval to begin deep seabed mining, was triggered in June 2021 by the Republic of Nauru.
- Government Says It Will Take Cautious Approach to Deep Sea Miningon August 3, 2022 at 3:58 pm
The government says it will take a cautious approach when it come to any future approvals for deep sea mining projects in the country.
- Ep. 63: For Deep Ocean Mining, Questions Aboundon August 3, 2022 at 10:18 am
In this episode, join Erik Olsen and this month’s host Lacy Roberts as they discuss the potential promise and peril of mining the deep ocean for minerals. Below is the full transcript of the podcast, ...
- Scientists decry lack of transparency at deep-sea mining negotiationson August 2, 2022 at 5:57 pm
Delegates to the International Seabed Authority, the UN-mandated body responsible for overseeing the development of deep-sea mining in international waters and protecting the ocean, are currently ...
- Marine Mining Market to Advance at CAGR of 34.43% During 2022-2031: TMR Studyon August 1, 2022 at 7:30 pm
A scrutiny of marine mining market trends underscores the growing investment of mining companies for retrieving deep-sea ore deposits, notably for extracting base and precious metals. An in-depth ...
- Greenpeace encourages electric vehicle manufacturers to avoid deep sea mining productson August 1, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Greenpeace has launched a new web-based app that encourages people to learn more about the threats from deep sea mining, and particularly how electric vehicle (EV) makers could take a stand. 'Race to ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Deep sea mining
via Google News