Why we’re calling on the United Nations to Protect Biodiversity Beyond Borders

Rebecca Helm, Nichola Clark, and Diva Amon for the Deep-sea Mining Observer The High Seas cover nearly half of Earth’s surface, and hold over 90% of livable habitat on the planet. Yet the High Seas  fall under no single nation’s jurisdiction (similar to the ‘Area Beyond National Jurisdiction’ (ABNJ)), and as a result, governance of […]

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The Great Deep Ocean Migration

In the early days of exploration, the deep-sea was thought to be largely devoid of life, a vast empty plain of mud wrapped around the world, too deep for living organisms to survive. But the more humans explore, the more life we discover in increasingly unexpected places, from the boiling water of hydrothermal vents, to […]

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Mushroom soft coral with feeding polyps extended on the Davidson Seamount, at 1,470m below. Some deep sea corals can live for several thousand years, making them the oldest organisms on the planet. (NOAA)

Species threatened by deep-sea mining

Ned Pennant-Rea for chinadialogue ocean | 28 February 2019 The UN has described the deep sea as “the largest source of species and ecosystem diversity on Earth.” Life thrives particularly on the vast expanses of sea floor known as abyssal plains, amid the submarine mountains that rise from them and around superheated springs. Extremes of […]

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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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seafloor expedition

Seafloor expedition data will help assess future deep-sea mining

JAMES MCNISH on NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM | 10 October 2017 “The research, led by the Museum, has expanded the number of known species of mollusc living on the zone’s seafloor from one to 21, with some species new to science. According to Dr Adrian Glover, principal investigator of the Museum’s Deep-sea Systematics and Ecology Research […]

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future deep-sea mining

New species could help monitor impact of future deep-sea mining

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM LONDON (NHM) | 25 September 2017 “The sponges live on the ocean floor on metal-rich nodules. The region where they live is targeted by deep-sea mining companies interested in mineral extraction. Scientists believe they are likely the most abundant animal living on the nodules and could be a key indicator species for […]

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Open Ocean Treaty

UN Committee Recommends Intergovernmental Conference to Negotiate Open Ocean Treaty

On Friday, July 21st, a U.N Preparatory Committee on high seas biodiversity agreed on a recommendation to the U.N. General Assembly to advance an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to negotiate a potential Open Ocean Treaty for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems beyond national jurisdiction. Unlike the seabed beyond national jurisdiction, which has had a legal […]

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deep-sea mining

UH professor joins warning on deep-sea mining

MICHAEL TSAI on HONOLULU STAR ADVERTISER | 9 July 2017 “A University of Hawaii oceanography professor is among an international team of scientists, economists and legal scholars warning that loss of biodiversity needs to be counted among the unavoidable and possibly irrevocable costs of deep-sea mining.” Read the full article on Honolulu Star Advertiser

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biodiversity loss transparent environmetal management

Biodiversity loss from deep-sea mining will be unavoidable

DUKE UNIVERSITY | 26 June 2017 DURHAM, N.C. — Biodiversity losses from deep-sea mining are unavoidable and possibly irrevocable, an international team of 15 marine scientists, resource economists and legal scholars argue in a letter published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. The experts say the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is responsible under the […]

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