Skip to main content

Existing environmental management approaches relevant to deep-sea mining

Deep-sea mining (DSM) may become a significant stressor on the marine environment. The DSM industry should demonstrate transparently its commitment to preventing serious harm to the environment by complying with legal requirements, using environmental good practice, and minimizing environmental impacts. Here existing environmental management approaches relevant to DSM that can be used to improve performance are identified and detailed.

The Cook Islands (South Pacific) experience in governance of seabed manganese nodule mining

The Cook Islands (CI), South Pacific, has one of the highest ratios of ocean to land area of any ocean island state in the world. Within it's EEZ exist abundant resources of seabed manganese nodules, thought to be the fourth richest resource of its type in the world, with a potential theoretical monetary value of c. $10 trillion US. The largely hydrogenetic nodules are rich in Ti, REE, Mn, Co and Ni. Economic studies suggest that a single twenty year-long mining operation could generate c. 150 jobs directly supporting 15% (c. $43M US) of the CI GDP.

October 10, 2019

The Cook Islands will be ready to harvest precious metals from the ocean floor in just five years. Despite calls for a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining in the Pacific to allow time to conduct more environmental research, the Cooks are set to be the frontier of the new goldrush.

October 3, 2019

Jacqui Evans, who was this year recognised internationally for her work building Marae Moana, is being replaced as director of the marine park. It comes just six months after Evans was named a winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, described as the Green Nobel Prize.

September 27, 2019

As the Cook Islands Government continues with its plans for seabed mining it has controversially dumped the person most closely associated with its famed Marae Moana. Jacqui Evans was dumped as a director of the huge marine reserve, something she was instrumental in establishing.


How MPAs Safeguard the High Seas

The high seas begin 200 nautical miles from coastal shores, beyond the jurisdiction of any country. Their vast expanse and distance from shore pose challenges for exploration and knowledge gathering. However, scientific expeditions in recent years have revealed that these areas, which make up nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean, harbor an incredible array of species that provide essential services for life on Earth.