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A big-hearted iron snail is the first deep-sea species to be declared endangered due to seabed mining.

In 2001, on an expedition to hydrothermal vent fields in the Indian Ocean, researchers made a bizarre discovery. Clustered in small aggregations around the base of a black smoker was an unusual snail, seemingly clad in a suit of armor. Rather than a single, hard, calcareous structure, the snail’s operculum was covered in a series […]

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26 years after experimental mining, a seabed ecosystem has yet to recover

In 1989, the largest attempt to model the impacts of a deep-sea mining operation was conducted across 1100 hectares of seafloor in the Peru Basin. The Disturbance and Recolonization Experiment (DISCOL) simulated polymetallic nodule extraction by dragging an 8-meter plough-harrow across a nodule field, creating 78 troughs that mimicked one likely consequence of dragging a […]

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Figure 1. From Turner et al. (2019)

Identifying and communicating the value of a hydrothermal vent

The deep sea has a PR problem. Most people have little to no conception of what deep ocean ecosystems look like, what lives there, or how human well-being may depend on them. Deep-sea ecosystems provide many indirect services that benefit humanity, yet they are poorly quantified and infrequently discussed.  A new paper by graduate student […]

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How to access a research paper.

Deep-sea mining, as both an industry and community of practice, is highly engaged in the scientific process. From plume flow models to environmental baselines to new engineering advancements, much of the core discussions happening in deep sea mining happens within the scientific literature. This is incredibly valuable when it comes to fostering partnerships and collaborations […]

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Fig 3. Examples of metazoan megafauna photographed at the APEI6 seafloor during AUV survey. Scale bars representing 50 mm. (a) Actiniaria msp-6. (b) Actiniaria msp-13. (c) Bathygorgia cf. profunda. (d) Abyssopathes cf. lyra. (e) Left: Chonelasma sp.; right: Hyalonema sp. (f) Cladorhiza cf. kensmithi. (g) Bathystylodactylus cf. echinus. (h) Nematocarcinus sp. (i) Sabellida msp-1 (polychaete). (j) Left: Freyastera sp.; right: Caulophacus sp. (k) Psychropotes cf. longicauda. (l) Benthodytes cf. typica. (m) Coryphaenoides sp. (n) Typhlonus nasus. o and p: probable new Mastigoteuthis sp. Same specimen photographed with different cameras: (o) vertical view; (p) oblique view (Image taken ∼1″ prior to the vertical shot).

A year of discovery in the deep sea

2018 was a banner year for studies highlighting the importance of hydrothermal vents not just to the highly specialized communities that thrive around seafloor massive sulphides, but also to the surrounding benthic community. Vents provide nursery grounds for octopuses and deep-sea skates, but they also provide food for deep-sea and shallow water animals. At shallow-water […]

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Plastic ice bag found by a NOAA expedition to the Marianas in 2016. Image: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Microplastics in The Deep Ocean

Rachel Pendergrass | 15 November 2018 Giant gyers of floating plastic have long been at the forefront of the public conversation around ocean pollution, but there has been a dearth of research on the deeper issue of plastic that reaches below the surface. Since the onset of mainstream plastic production begin in the 1940s and […]

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