Yearly Archives: 2020

The long life of plastic waste at an experimental mining site.

Not all scientific research begins with specific intent. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, as ocean scientists embarked on an ambitious plan to understand the potential impacts of deep-sea mining by simulating the disturbance caused by removing polymetallic nodules from the seafloor, they inadvertently seeded an entirely different experiment, which would ultimately provide insight […]

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Bioprospecting in Practice: How a drug goes from the ocean to the clinic.

Bioprospecting, the discovery of new pharmaceutical compounds, industrial chemicals, and novel genes from natural systems, is frequently cited among the critical non-mineral commercial activities that yield value from the deep ocean. Isolating new chemicals or molecular processes from nature can provide substantial benefits to numerous industries. The value of products derived from marine genetic resources […]

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What impact will deep-sea mining have on midwater habitats?

Jessica Perelman and Jesse van der Grient for the DSM Observer The ocean’s midwaters comprise the largest habitat on Earth and contribute significant ecosystem services including nutrient supply to surface waters and carbon transport, as well as support pelagic fisheries. But midwaters (generally defined as the pelagic ocean below 200 meters depth) also remain one […]

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The International Seabed Authority contributes to Kingston Mayor’s homeless response amid COVID-19

PRESS RELEASE The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has donated $3,000 USD and furniture from its headquarters in downtown Kingston, to the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to help address the impact on human health and well-being, in particular for the most vulnerable groups of the society, namely the homeless population living in Kingston. ISA staff […]

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The last days of Nautilus Minerals.

After nearly two decades of promise and two years of confusion and uncertainty, it looks like the curtain has finally closed on Solwara I and Nautilus Minerals. In the mid-2000’s, Nautilus Minerals made their mark as the first commercial venture to explore seafloor massive sulphides for potential mineral extraction. In the early 2010’s the company […]

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The Armor of the Iron Snail

Throughout the animal kingdom, evolution has devised myriad ways for organisms to protect themselves from predators, competitors, and their environment. The advent of hard, biomineralized shells — shells formed from minerals extracted from the environment and reconstituted through biological — is a major development in the evolution of life on earth.  Most biomineralization comes in […]

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Commentary: Latest developments in the election of members of the LTC

Pradeep A. Singh Pradeep Singh is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany) and doctoral candidate at the University of Bremen (Bremen, Germany). The views expressed here are his own and are partly based on his ongoing doctoral research. The composition of members at the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) […]

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A 3-decade-long disturbance study on the deep abyssal plain.

In the late 1980s, as the first wave of deep-sea mining exploration approached a decade of hibernation, researchers launched an ambitious experiment to understand the long-term environmental impact of harvesting polymetallic nodules from the abyssal plain. The Disturbance and recolonization experiment in a manganese nodule area of the deep South Pacific (DISCOL) remains the most […]

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The deep-sea mining community adapts to the new normal under coronavirus restrictions.

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer The coronavirus pandemic is changing the world in dramatic and subtle ways, exacting a toll measured both in lost lives and economic uncertainty. Deep-sea mining has been in development for over 50 years and now, at the moment in which negotiations were poised to transition the industry from exploration to […]

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