Archives

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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As deep-sea mining inches towards production, a global pandemic brings negotiations to a halt.

When the first part of 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority convened last month, there was a new stakeholder impacting the pace of deliberations. COVID-19 had just begun to spread beyond China and nations across the world were limiting travel in the hopes of containing the outbreak. With Jamaica imposing a 14-day quarantine on […]

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Negotiations continue over the Financial Model

Though it seems closer than ever, deep-sea mining has always been driven in part by an abundance of optimism. In his 1974 treatise on The Control of the Sea-Bed, Evan Luard estimated that the pace of exploration and technological development for polymetallic nodule extraction was such that “it will therefore probably only take a few […]

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REMPs and the Ecosystem Approach: lessons from the Évora workshop

Maila Guilhon for the Deep-sea Mining Observer In 2007, scientists first convened a workshop to discuss conservation measures in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, leading ultimately to the establishment of the first Environmental Management Plan for mining in the Area. Now, evaluating and establishing Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) are  a significant component of deep-sea mining discussions. […]

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Brazil's claim for the Rio Grande Rise.

One of the most significant deep-sea mining negotiations is underway at the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

One of the most significant discussions in deep-sea mining is happening not a the International Seabed Authority, but in the offices of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The CLCS is responsible for assessing outer continental shelf claims, those portions of a nation’s continental […]

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What we’ve missed in the Abyss: Mining 40 years of cruise reports for biodiversity and research effort data from deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Andrew Thaler for Southern Fried Science In the forty years since that first discovery, hundreds of research expedition ventured into the deep oceans to study and understand the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. In doing so, they discovered thousands of new species, unraveled the secrets of chemosynthesis, and fundamentally altered our understanding of what it […]

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