Archives

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

With TOML acquisition, DeepGreen expands its footprint across the Pacific

Last week DeepGreen announced that it had finalized the acquisition of Tonga Offshore Mining Limited, a subsidiary of the former Nautilus Minerals, from Deep Sea Mining Finance, who is overseeing Nautilus’s restructuring. Outside of Solwara I, TOML was one of Nautilus’s most valuable holdings, and though the acquisition price has not been revealed, it will […]

Read More

The Great Deep Ocean Migration

In the early days of exploration, the deep-sea was thought to be largely devoid of life, a vast empty plain of mud wrapped around the world, too deep for living organisms to survive. But the more humans explore, the more life we discover in increasingly unexpected places, from the boiling water of hydrothermal vents, to […]

Read More