A new international study has demonstrated that deepsea nodule mining will cause long-lasting damage to deepsea life. This study, led by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the U.K., was the first to review all the available information on the impacts of small-scale sea-floor disturbances simulating mining activity.
The experiments evaluated were much smaller than any planned mining program, which may impact an area the size of London every few years, but they show that the amount and diversity of marine life was reduced by the action of mining, often severely and for a long time.
The oldest experiment, assessed 26 years after the impact, still leaves an obvious disturbance on the sea-floor, and both the number of animals and species present in the disturbed area was reduced. Although some evidence of recovery was found, very few types of animals returned to previous levels even after decades.
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