A map of some southern MPAs

X-marks the spot: Why are some large, remote marine Protected Areas so oddly shaped?

A bold, ambitious plan to protect the ocean is underway. 30 by 30 aims to secure strong environmental protection for 30% of the ocean by 2030. To do this, nations are creating new large remote Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that cover huge swaths of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and preclude exploitation within these regions.  […]

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Crabs on a trash bag.

Plastic is reshaping ecosystems in the deep sea

One of the most challenging aspects of assessing and mitigating environmental harm from human use of ocean resources is that, as impacts propagate through the marine environment, human activities may not only remove existing habitats, but, in some cases, create entirely new ones. In offshore oil and gas exploration, cuttings piles can become home for […]

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Delegates struggle to develop Regional Environmental Management Plans during a global pandemic

Since the pandemic brought travel to a halt, the International Seabed Authority has been working to meet contractor deadlines and make progress on a variety of issues revolving around finalizing the mining code, facilitating workshops, and engaging stakeholders and experts through remote meetings. These efforts include workshops on the development of Regional Environmental Management Plans […]

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An incomplete tour of new species recently discovered in the deep ocean

New animal species that are genuinely new to science are remarkably rare. The modern process of discovering and describing a new species, particularly animals, usually follows a pattern of creating more and more nuanced distinctions between already known groups. “New to science” rarely means “never before observed”. In other words, when we find a new […]

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What did people talk about when they talked about deep-sea mining in 2020?

Almost 1 year ago, just before the commencement of the 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority in February, we began analytically tracking the online conversation surrounding deep-sea mining. Using a service called SocioViz, DSM Observer implemented a year-long sentiment and network analysis Big Listening campaign across a range of keywords used by stakeholders to […]

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Urban mining and mineral recycling: State of the art

Sergio Cambronero for DSM Observer The energetic transition to a low-carbon future is boosting the market for renewable energies, and this is increasing the demand for minerals. Consequently, with a renewed push for sustainable development and environmental protection, these minerals will have to come from sources that do not affect vulnerable ecosystems. Society has generally […]

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Ocean stakeholders discuss calls for moratorium on deep-sea mining.

Maria Bolevich for DSM Observer This fall saw an unprecedented emphasis on calls for moratoria on deep-sea mining. Several national deliberative bodies entertained discussions on supporting a moratorium, including within some contractor sponsoring states, while a public campaign, initiated by environmental NGOs who received a boost from public statements made by Sir David Attenborough, worked […]

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Commentary: COVID-19 and the (ab)use of the silence procedure at the International Seabed Authority

Pradeep A. Singh Pradeep Singh is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled July 2020 session of the Legal and Technical Commission, the Council and the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) could not take place in-person in Kingston, Jamaica. While […]

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