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GSR Patania II suffers a set-back

During functionality testing ahead of the proposed launch of Patania II— GSR’s purpose-built prototype nodule collector —damage was caused to a critical cable, resulting in power failure. The cable, known as an umbilical, is 5 kilometers in length and contains specialised wiring to power, control and communicate with Patania II from a surface support vessel, as well […]

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Venting fumeroles just from the crown of Godzilla hydrothermal vent. Ocean Networks Canada.

Deep-sea mining: regulating the unknown

Amber Cobley for The Ecologist | 15 March 2019 If you ask someone to describe the deep sea, the response is often a depressing description of a barren landscape devoid of life; one of such crushing pressure and eternal darkness that the chance of life surviving here seems only possible in stories of science fiction. […]

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A new species of the sea-anemone-like Relicanthus clings to a sponge stalk on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.Credit: D. J. Amon & C. R. Smith

Bus-size robot set to vacuum up valuable metals from the deep sea

Paul Voosen for Science | 14 March 2019 Sometimes the sailors’ myths aren’t far off: The deep ocean really is filled with treasure and creatures most strange. For decades, one treasure—potato-size nodules rich in valuable metals that sit on the dark abyssal floor—has lured big-thinking entrepreneurs, while defying their engineers. But that could change next […]

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China’s research ship departs for 54th ocean expedition

China launched its 54th ocean expedition on Monday to conduct research on the oceanic resources and environment in the Pacific, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The Chinese oceanographic research ship Xiangyanghong 10 departed from the city of Zhoushan in east China’s Zhejiang Province. The whole journey will take 255 days and travel […]

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A polymetallic nodule. (Image: Nautilus Minerals)

Deep seabed mining: key questions

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 26 February 2019 What is deep sea mining? It’s the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea – the area of the ocean below 200 metres. This covers around 65% of the Earth’s surface and harbours a rich diversity of species adapted to the harsh environment – […]

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A crustacean looking out from within a deep sea octocoral, 1,150m beneath the Gulf of Mexico. (Image: NOAA)

The future of deep seabed mining

Jessica Aldred for chinadialogue ocean | 24 February 2019 It’s one of the coldest, darkest places on earth, full of marine life – much of which is yet to be discovered – with a seabed rich in mineral deposits. In the last decade, the floor of the deep ocean that lies outside the jurisdiction of […]

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The perils of mining the deep

Matthew Gianni and Sian Owen for The Economist World Ocean Initiative | 11 February 2019 The deep seabed was once believed to be a lifeless realm of mud and rock. This barren image changed dramatically, however, as technology to explore the hidden depths improved. In 2016, the United Nations First World Ocean Assessment described the […]

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Mushroom soft coral with feeding polyps extended on the Davidson Seamount, at 1,470m below. Some deep sea corals can live for several thousand years, making them the oldest organisms on the planet. (NOAA)

Species threatened by deep-sea mining

Ned Pennant-Rea for chinadialogue ocean | 28 February 2019 The UN has described the deep sea as “the largest source of species and ecosystem diversity on Earth.” Life thrives particularly on the vast expanses of sea floor known as abyssal plains, amid the submarine mountains that rise from them and around superheated springs. Extremes of […]

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

We should explore the deep ocean, not mine it

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 […]

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International Seabed Authority internship associate legal officer environmental management plans Women and girls in science ISA Releases Stakeholder Submissions to Draft Exploitation Regulations

Twenty-fifth Annual Session of ISA

The first part of the 25th annual session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) will consist of a meeting of the ISA Council convening from 25 February-1 March 2019 and a meeting of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) from 4-15 March 2019, in Kingston, Jamaica. The meeting arrangement follows the revised schedule, decided at […]

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