New Report addresses Europe’s role in Deep-sea Mining

December 9, 2021

‘At a crossroads: Europe’s role in deep-sea mining’ a new report published today by Seas At Risk (SAR), an umbrella organisation of environmental NGOs from across Europe, exposes the role played by the European Union and its Member States, as well as the UK and Norway in this final mining frontier and provides a comprehensive analysis of their existing policies on deep-sea mining. It makes the case for the EU and Member States to prohibit deep-sea mining in European waters and to push for a global moratorium, as well as to set strong binding targets for material footprint reduction, including a drastic reduction in primary metals use.

The report is released prior to the ‘Green Mining’ conference, organized by the Portuguese EU-presidency on the 5th May, the upcoming new EU ‘Blue Economy Strategy’ as well as current efforts towards a European Council decision on a joint EU negotiation position at the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

OceanCare supports SAR’s effort for an international moratorium on deep-sea mining and getting the EU, its Member States and other European countries to champion an environmental protection driven approach to the deep-sea. Research should prioritize understanding of the deep-sea ecosystems and shed light on their complex mechanisms that affect the whole planet. Efforts for material-footprint reduction and moving towards a circular economy should be put above mining new regions for raw materials at the cost of potentially disastrous environmental impacts.

OceanCare also shares SAR’s engagement for scientifically sound, stringent and binding regulations for activities in the high seas with a clear focus on the protection of marine life, including from the threat of anthropogenic underwater noise. OceanCare and Seas at Risk both push for development of such regulations at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and other international fora, particularly the ongoing negotiations on the High Seas Treaty (UNCLOS BBNJ).

Download Report “At a crossroads: Europe’s role in Deep-sea Mining” here.