AboutThe Deep Sea Mining (DSM) campaign started in late 2011 in response to the frenzy of sea bed exploration in the South Pacific, approximately 1.5 million square kilometres of Pacific Ocean Floor is currently under exploration leasehold to private and national government companies within both territorial and international waters. As you are probably aware Canadian company Nautilus Minerals Inc (Nautilus) has been granted a 20 year licence to operate a deep sea mine focusing on hydrothermal vents in the Bismarck Sea in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Meanwhile, US based military contractor Lockheed Martin is negotiating licenses for the exploration of poly-metallic manganese nodules with the Fiji administration. The company’s UK subsidiary UK Seabed Resources has its eyes on similar nodules in international waters spanning 58,000 km2 between Hawaii and Mexico. According to the GEOMAR centre for ocean research in Germany, the ecological impact of mining nodules would be totally unacceptable with current technology.
All of this activity is occurring in the absence of regulatory regimes or conservation areas to protect the unique and little known ecosystems of the deep sea. Furthermore, scientific research into impacts is extremely limited and provides no assurance that the health of coastal communities and the fisheries on which they depend can be guaranteed. The Deep Sea Mining Campaign is an association of organisations and citizens from Papua New Guinea, Australia and Canada concerned about the likely impacts of DSM on marine and coastal ecosystems and communities.The aims of the campaign are to achieve Free, Prior and Informed Consent from affected communities and the application of the precautionary principle. Put simply we believe that:
- Affected communities should participate in decisions about deep sea mining and indeed have the right to veto proposed mines, and that
Deep Sea mining should be permitted only after independently verified research has demonstrated that neither communities nor ecosystems will suffer long term negative impacts.
Our campaign has produced two comprehensive, scientifically based reports highlighting the uncertainties and likely impacts of the mining of hydrothermal vents that can be downloaded here.
In addition, we’ve produced fact sheets and community resources such as stickers and posters that can be viewed and downloaded here.