WHY THE RUSH? - Seabed Mining in the Pacific Ocean
You are here
The Pacific Ocean is the scene of a new wild west. Companies and their investors, hungry for profits, are driving a speculative rush for seabed minerals. They are aided in this by donor government supported programs that promote the development of ‘responsible’ sea bed mining regulations. Globally, ocean ecosystems are under stress due to pollution, plastics, overfishing and climate change. The aspirations of sea bed mining companies will seriously compound these environmental stressors. In recognition of this, civil society, NGOs, fisheries, tourism operators, scientists and governmental bodies around the world are calling for a moratorium on deep sea mining. Hearing these concerns, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on international oceans governance in January 2018 that called on European states to stop sponsoring deep sea mining exploration in international waters and to support a moratorium on deep sea mining. Over the past year, this call has been echoed by the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK House of Commons, the UN Envoy on Oceans at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the Bainimarama government of Fiji announced in June 2019 that it will ban sea-bed mining in its waters.