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IUCN publishes deep seabed mining report

On 16 July 2018, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published a report on deep seabed mining. The report’s purpose is to shed light on the issues that need to be addressed that, if the deep seabed is to be developed, it is done in a manner that is sustainable both economically as well as environmentally. The report is a welcome and wide-ranging document and two of its key findings are:

“Unlike existing ocean uses, deep-sea mining is a new marine activity, which allows the precautionary approach to be integrated into the regulatory framework prior to the onset of commercial operations. At present there is broad support among all stakeholders to do so, creating a powerful precedent for the management and exploitation of natural resources.”

"The findings in this report challenge all concerned to collaborate to ensure that before commercial deep sea mining commences that the environmental risks have been understood, what the acceptable limits of impact shall be and how such shall be monitored, controlled and mitigated.”

GSR’s objective is to develop a system for polymetallic nodule collection that uses best available techniques (BAT) for minimizing environmental impact while supporting the extreme physical challenges of operating at depths of up to 5 000 meters. You can find out more about the precautionary work being undertaken by GSR in collaboration with the European Union’s JPI Oceans project here.

You can access the IUCN document here.
Photo @ GEOMAR

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