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The United States moves towards exploration and exploitation of critical mineral resources in the deep ocean.

Since the signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the creation of the International Seabed Authority, the United States of America has been a shadow partner in the growing deep-sea mining industry. Though the United States provides scientific and technical expertise, and is a de facto participant through American-owned subsidiaries […]

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Can you distract a clam?

Sometimes marine scientific studies are deep explorations into the fundamental processes that underpin ecosystem function, yielding critical insights into management and mitigation in the face of anthropogenic impacts. And sometimes marine scientific studies answer basic questions that many stakeholders and practitioners wouldn’t even think to ask. Questions like: Can you distract a clam? In “Are […]

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Deadlines and delays: What to expect from the next ISA meeting

After a multiple-month delay in response to the global pandemic, the International Seabed Authority is set to convene the second part of the 26th Session in Kingston Jamaica this December. While the format of the December meeting has not yet been announced, a previous postponement from July to October had the meeting substantially abridged compared […]

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Tools of Ore: Surveying the current state of deep-sea mining technology

Although the political negotiations surrounding the establishment of a Mining Code are frequently the driving factor in the development and advancement of the deep-sea mining industry, the technology necessary to actually access the seafloor and recover ore from the deep ocean presents just as many challenges. The rules of the International Seabed Authority even provide […]

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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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