×
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Conservation meet mulls moratorium on deep sea mining - Phys.org

Last updated Monday, September 6, 2021 12:43 ET , Source: NewsService

The world's top conservation forum will vote this week on whether to recommend a moratorium on deep sea mining, with scientists warning that ecosystems degraded while dredging the ocean floor 5,000 metres below the waves could take decades or longer to heal.

The proposed ban is among a score of measures deemed too controversial to be decided remotely ahead of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress, meeting through Saturday in Marseille.

A "yes" vote by IUCN members—some 1,400 national agencies, NGOs and indigenous groups—is a commitment "to support and implement a moratorium on deep seabed mining".

The measure also recommends greater oversight of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), an intergovernmental body that regulates the extraction of precious minerals from seabeds beyond waters falling within national exclusive economic zones.

Parts of the ocean floor are rich in minerals, including so-called polymetallic nodules composed mostly of copper, manganese, cobalt and nickel—metals increasingly in demand for electric vehicle batteries.

But there's a catch: these fist-sized rocks are generally found on seabeds four to six kilometres below the surface.

Commercial mining at those depths does not currently exist, but there are several companies investing in the technology that would make it possible.

The ISA—mandated by the UN to regulate mineral-extraction from the high seas "for the benefit of humanity as a whole"—has approved 30...



Read Full Story: https://phys.org/news/2021-09-mulls-moratorium-deep-sea.html


Your content is great. However, if any of the content contained herein violates any rights of yours, including those of copyright, please contact us immediately by e-mail at media[@]kissrpr.com.