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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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What do people talk about when they talk about Deep-sea Mining?

While negotiations rage within the halls of the International Seabed Authority over the draft mining code, the operationalization of the enterprise, and the development of the financial model, a second conversation is happening, distributed across the internet and engaging an entirely different cohort of stakeholders. Deep-sea mining attracts a passionate collection of activists, technologists, policy […]

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Seasteading provides an illuminating look at interpretation of law on the high seas

There is a vast chasm between the reality of maritime law, formed by generations of treaties negotiated at the highest levels of government in the often inscrutably complex language of international diplomacy, and the common belief within civil society that areas beyond national jurisdiction are essentially lawless. Nowhere is this gulf more apparent than within […]

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Finding Balance among Stakeholders: An Interview with Dr. Malcolm Clark

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer Dr. Malcolm R. Clark is a principal scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand, he began his career in the 1980s. “My career started with fisheries stock assessment, and evolved through studying the diversity of deep-sea life and how it is impacted by […]

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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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A Primer on Polymetallic Nodule Fields

Scattered across the abyssal plain at depths from 4000 to 6500 meters, polymetallic nodules are the most abundant and broadly distributed of the three major ore types currently being pursued by deep-sea mining companies. Originally referred to as manganese nodules, this small, potato-sized accretions on the seafloor were first discovered during the Challenger Expedition in […]

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