We should explore the deep ocean, not mine it

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The remotely-operated Hercules searches for deep sea fauna. (Image: NOAA)
The remotely-operated Hercules searches for deep sea fauna. (Image: NOAA)

Diva Amon for chinadialogue ocean | 4 March 2019

Human activity is transforming the planet and the deep ocean is no exception. As the demand for metals increases humans are seeking them in ever more remote places. The next frontier may be the deep seabed.

Valuable metallic ores laden with cobalt, copper, nickel, gold and other rare metals are found in polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains and ferromanganese crusts on seamounts. As many of these habitats are found in international waters, they fall under the mandate of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which has allocated 29 mining exploration contract areas globally, some of which are up to 75,000 square kilometres, or roughly the size of Panama.

Read the full article here: We should explore the deep ocean, not mine it.