Seafloor expedition data will help assess future deep-sea mining

Scientists surveying an ocean area targeted for deep-sea mining have shown how much is left to discover about the biodiversity of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a five-million-square-kilometre region in the central Pacific Ocean.

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Leptochiton macleani, one of the 20 marine mollusc species newly discovered to be living in the deep-sea Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Credit: Natural History Museum London (NHM)

JAMES MCNISH on NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM | 10 October 2017

“The research, led by the Museum, has expanded the number of known species of mollusc living on the zone’s seafloor from one to 21, with some species new to science.

According to Dr Adrian Glover, principal investigator of the Museum’s Deep-sea Systematics and Ecology Research Group, by improving our knowledge of what is living in the area, it will be easier to monitor the effects of future mining.

‘It is a simple truth that we cannot move forward on regulatory approval for deep-sea mining without fundamental baseline data on what animals actually live in these regions,’ he says.

‘Our work has highlighted obvious gaps in our knowledge, but also shown that with even relatively modest effort, we can greatly increase our understanding of baseline biodiversity.'”

Read the full article on Natural History Museum London (NHM)