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Delegates gather during an informal meeting. Photo courtesy ISA.

The Five Most Talked about Moments from the ISA Council Meeting

It was a cool week in Kingston as representatives from member states, observers, NGOs, and other stakeholders gathered at the International Seabed Authority to continue the quarter-century-long process of guiding mineral extraction in the high seas towards production. Discussions were broad in vision, focused in scope, and soberingly detailed. While everything from the percentage points […]

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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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Cut rock samples from the Rio Grande Rise show Fe-Mn crusts (black and gray) growing on various types of iron-rich substrate rocks (pale to dark brown). Photo credit: Kira Mizell, USGS.

A lost continent rich in cobalt crusts could create a challenging precedent for mineral extraction in the high seas.

The Rio Grande Rise is an almost completely unstudied, geologically intriguing, ecologically mysterious, potential lost continent in the deep south Atlantic. And it also hosts dense cobalt-rich crusts. The Rio Grande Rise is a region of deep-ocean seamounts roughly the area of Iceland in the southwestern Atlantic. It lies west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge off […]

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Polymetallic Nodule and Sulphide Mining to Scale

To better help stakeholders visualize the scale of Polymetallic Nodule and Seafloor Massive Sulphide mining, we created this short info-graphic highlighting the size of the vehicles and vessels (base on photographs and best available information) as well as the scope of the mining leases in the CCZ and Papua New Guinea with respect to the […]

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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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DOSI Day participants. Photo courtesy DOSI.

Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative gathers ahead of the Deep-sea Biology Symposium to plan for the Ocean Decade.

The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative is a collective of mostly marine scientists whose goal is to use science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean as well as strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems within and beyond national jurisdiction. DOSI met on Sunday, September […]

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Deep-sea mining from 2018 to 2024: what can we expect?

At the close of the 24th Annual Session of the International Seabed Authority on 26th July 2018, the future of deep-sea mining appeared precarious. It was clear from discussions between attending national delegates, contractors, members of civil society and academics that the next six years will be crucial in determining the way forward for deep-sea […]

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Group photo of delegates at the end of the meeting, courtesy ISA. 

In Summary: Part II of the 24th Session of the ISA.

Last month, ISA delegates met in Jamaica for the 2nd part of the 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority to discuss the ISA’s strategic plan for the next 4 years and review the draft exploitation regulations. Delegates also discussed recommendations from the Legal and Technical Commission as well as the Finance Committee. Earth Negotiations […]

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ISA Returns

ISA Returns to Kingston

The 24th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) began Monday morning, March 5th with the opening of the Council. The Council will continue to meet 5-9 March, followed by the Legal & Technical Commission (LTC) from 12-23 March. Both meetings will review current ISA contracts and discuss the Draft Exploitation Regulations produced by the […]

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