Archives

Ramping up for REMPs: An introduction to Regional Environmental Management Plans.

As deep-sea mining creeps towards production and the International Seabed Authority works diligently to produce a comprehensive Mining Code for exploitation in the Area, stakeholders from across the spectrum are racing to answer one question: how do we predict, assess, manage, and mitigate environmental harm in the deep sea beyond national jurisdiction? Increasingly, regulators, contractors, […]

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A new species of the sea-anemone-like Relicanthus clings to a sponge stalk on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.Credit: D. J. Amon & C. R. Smith

Bus-size robot set to vacuum up valuable metals from the deep sea

Paul Voosen for Science | 14 March 2019 Sometimes the sailors’ myths aren’t far off: The deep ocean really is filled with treasure and creatures most strange. For decades, one treasure—potato-size nodules rich in valuable metals that sit on the dark abyssal floor—has lured big-thinking entrepreneurs, while defying their engineers. But that could change next […]

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A polymetallic nodule from the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone, purchased from an online dealer. 

Nodules for sale: tracking the origin of polymetallic nodules from the CCZ on the open market. 

You can buy a 5-lb bag of polymetallic nodules from the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone on Amazon, right now. Depending on your vantage point and how long you’ve participated in the deep-sea mining community, this will either come as a huge surprise or be completely unexceptional. Prior to the formation of the International Seabed Authority, there […]

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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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Deep-sea glass sponges from a polymetallic nodule field. Image from Kersken et al. 2018.

Recent studies expand our understanding of the diversity, distribution, and resilience of species from polymetallic nodule fields.

The last half year saw a slate of great studies highlighting the diversity, distribution, and resilience (or lack thereof) of the animals that live in polymetallic nodule fields. While there are many, many more, we have selected a cross-section of the more unusual and unexpected findings. Sponges Sponges, particularly glass sponges, may prove to be […]

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deep sea miners

Can Science Keep Deep Sea Miners From Ruining the Seafloor?

ERIC NILLER on WIRED | 20 December 2017 “Ocean explorers and entrepreneurs have been thinking about how to scoop up mineral-laden deposits on the seafloor since the HMS Challenger dragged a few up in a bucket during its globe-trotting scientific voyage in the 1870s. A century later, the CIA used deep sea mining as a […]

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IFREMER

Ifremer and ISA Sign Extension Agreement of Exploration Contract for Polymetallic Nodules

INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY | 27 November 2017 JAMAICA, Kingston  – – The International Seabed Authority and l’Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) have signed an Agreement on the extension of the exploration contract for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. IFREMER entered into a 15-year contract for exploration for polymetallic […]

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Paul Lynch

Deep Sea Mining from a Pacific Island State Perspective: An Interview with Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Commissioner Paul Lynch

Since August 2012, Paul Lynch has led the Cook Islands’ Seabed Minerals Authority, which oversees development of the islands’ national seabed mineral resource. A lawyer with over 25 years of wide and varied legal experience in the private sector, Commissioner Lynch is shaping deep sea mining as an industry, both in the Cook Islands and […]

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Cook Islands

Cook Islands Partners to Explore Pacific Bounty

The government of the Cook Islands, through the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), entered into an agreement in September with U.S. based Ocean Minerals, LLC (OML) for the exclusive right for up to 18 months to prospect and explore high value polymetallic nodules over approximately 23,000 square kilometers of the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone […]

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Pew Charitable Trusts ISA Secretariat

International Seabed Authority and Pew Charitable Trusts

INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY | 14 November 2017 JAMAICA, Kingston – – The International Seabed Authority has engaged with the Pew Seabed Mining Project in several areas including partnerships in relation to workshops in environmental matters held in Berlin and a workshop in Uganda earlier this year – the first to be held in a landlocked […]

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