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Diamond mining moves offshore and into the deep.

Of the coast of Namibia, in barely 200 meters of water, an entirely different kind of deep-sea mining is taking shape. The target is neither precious metals, rare earth elements, or the minerals destined to supply next-generation batteries and power cells, but diamonds. The company is De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, and they […]

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Delegates for the Development of Standards & Guidelines Multi-stakeholder Workshop. Photo courtesy ISA.

Setting the Standard: Progress on the development of Standards and Guidelines for the ISA Mining Code

In the impressive Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, over 80 national delegates, members of the International Seabed Authority Secretariat, contractors, industry professionals, NGO representatives and academics, covering a wide range of skills and expertise, gathered last week. They were tasked with not only prioritizing the list of Standards and Guidelines to support […]

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Negotiations continue for Biodiversity Protection in the High Seas

From March 25th to April 5th, hundreds of delegates gathered at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan to continue work on one of the most consequential ocean-based treaty negotiations in recent memory. It was the second of four planned intergovernmental conference sessions to establish a new, legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use […]

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A strange spoon worm, an elegant sea pen, a stalked crinoid, and two xenophyophores with brittle stars. Credit: Mountains in the Sea 2004. NOAA Office of Ocean

All in the same boat: negotiations for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction begin

Harriet Harden-Davies | 15 November 2018 “This is a chance to take a course correction while we still can…if we pull together, we can make it”. Rena Lee, president­­ of the intergovernmental conference—fondly referred to as Madame Captain—set an ambitious, positive and suitably nautical tone to open historic negotiations on 4 September 2018 at the […]

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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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