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Beaked whale gouges on the deep seafloor. Photo from Marsh et al. 2018.

Deep-diving whales lay tracks across the CCZ.

A series of tantalizing tracks on the seafloor led Dr. Leigh Marsh on a journey of discovery that could have significant implications for our understanding of the ecology of nodule fields while extending the record for deep diving marine mammals by over 1000 meters. It began in 2015, when the science team aboard the RRS […]

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The submarine Noctiluca cruises across the surface. Photo Courtesy Shanee Stopnitzky.

The rise of low-cost ROVs and community submersibles

As a community, we discuss mining, management, and monitoring, as well as the regulations that shape them, in terms of governments, major corporations, and research institutions. The deep-sea mining community is small and the complexities of working at abyssal depths engenders collaboration, cooperation, and, in the case of exploitation, compromise. While there are many stakeholders […]

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Group photo of delegates at the end of the meeting, courtesy ISA. 

In Summary: Part II of the 24th Session of the ISA.

Last month, ISA delegates met in Jamaica for the 2nd part of the 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority to discuss the ISA’s strategic plan for the next 4 years and review the draft exploitation regulations. Delegates also discussed recommendations from the Legal and Technical Commission as well as the Finance Committee. Earth Negotiations […]

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Deep-sea glass sponges from a polymetallic nodule field. Image from Kersken et al. 2018.

Recent studies expand our understanding of the diversity, distribution, and resilience of species from polymetallic nodule fields.

The last half year saw a slate of great studies highlighting the diversity, distribution, and resilience (or lack thereof) of the animals that live in polymetallic nodule fields. While there are many, many more, we have selected a cross-section of the more unusual and unexpected findings. Sponges Sponges, particularly glass sponges, may prove to be […]

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The Nautilus New Era under construction. Photo courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

Despite setbacks, Nautilus Minerals struggles towards production.

The last half year was a tough one for Nautilus Minerals. In December, their ship contractor defaulted on payments to the production support vessel and  construction was halted following contract resolution. This was followed in July by notification that the shipbuilding contract had been cancelled. In May, they lost the support of Anglo American, who […]

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President of the Assembly, Prof. Mariusz-Orion Jędrysek, Dr Diva Amon and ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge.

Dr. Diva Amon earns the inaugural ISA Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep-sea Research.

Dr. Diva Amon, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the UK Natural History Museum, was presented with the Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep-sea Research at the 24th session of the Assembly of the Authority. Dr. Amon is a deep-sea biologist whose work stretches from the deep waters around Trinidad and Tobago to the Mariana Trench. […]

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New Depth Limit for Deep Sea Marine Burrows

Hydrothermal vents are used as nursery grounds for non-vent animals.

One of the most tantalizing emerging trends from the last half year are new studies showing connections between ecosystems  found on and surrounding hydrothermal vents and wider deep-sea communities. Much effort has been spent understanding how hydrothermal vent ecosystems are connected to each other but relatively few studies investigate how those communities are connected to […]

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From the Editor: DSM Observer Relaunches

Hello and welcome to the return of the DSM Observer! DSM Observer was launched in July 2017 to provide news, resources, and deep dives into the emerging deep-sea mining industry. As Editor-in-chief, Arlo Hemphill of I am Wilderness, LLC, created a monthly newsletter tackling the technology, business, science, environment, and policy issues surrounding deep-sea mining […]

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