Category: Oceans

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The Observer view on the pros and cons of deep-sea mining | Observer editorial

By Bambam

There may be merits to mining the seabed, but investing in alternative green technologies on land should be the priority

Deep-sea mining has become one of our planet’s most divisive problems. By stripping the ocean floor of its vast mineral wealth, proponents say we can obtain the cobalt, manganese, nickel and copper we urgently need for the green technologies – the electric vehicles, batteries and wind turbines – that must replace our carbon-emitting cars, power plants and factories. The only alternative to these deep-sea sources lies on land, where a huge expansion of mines would trigger environmental havoc: more sinkholes, devastated wildlife and polluted soil and groundwater. It is therefore time to plunder the riches of the deep to save our planet’s smouldering landscapes, it is argued.

These proposals are rejected outright by many scientists and green activists who say the colossal deep-sea dredging that would be involved in raising these minerals would trash swaths of ocean floor and wipe out precious, slow-growing animals and plants, while clouds of toxic sediments would be sent spiralling up from the deep, destroying marine food chains in the process. Deep-sea mining will only worsen our ecological woes, they maintain.

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In the high seas, scientists uncover a ‘vortex of life’

By Bambam
On the surface, the international waters off the coasts of Peru and Chile are a seemingly barren expanse. But beneath the waves, two underwater mountain chains — known as the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges — are bursting with life, according to a new study.

Floating education center works with the next generation in Indonesia

By Bambam
Here at Conservation International, many of our marine conservation activities are grand in nature, focused on connecting distant ecosystems and forging ambitious international policies for ocean health. But on the other end of the spectrum, we have projects like the MV Kalabia — our floating education center in Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago.