Press release

OceanCare welcomes Switzerland’s positioning for a moratorium on deep-sea mining

June 28, 2023

Today, just a few days ahead of the 28th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston, Jamaica, in July, the Swiss Federal Council decided to support the call for a temporary moratorium on deep-sea mining.

With this decision, Switzerland joins a growing number of countries calling for such a moratorium, at least until more scientific evidence of its impacts is available and until the effective protection of the marine environment can be guaranteed.

“Switzerland’s support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining is a responsible step towards the protection of the ocean. It is also one of the first core decisions with a new maritime strategy in place. The timing for the announcement ahead of the start of the International Seabed Authority negotiations this July in Jamaica could not be better” Fabienne McLellan, Executive Director of OceanCare, welcomes the decision by the Swiss Federal Council.

According to OceanCare’s assessments, the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on marine ecosystems and biodiversity would be irreversible. Switzerland has rightly recognised that a precautionary and prudent approach to deep-sea mining is needed to prevent harmful impacts on marine ecosystems and avoid devastating social, economic, and cultural consequences.

If the international community takes the warnings by scientists seriously, as well as the appropriate application of the precautionary principle, then we are far from seeing deep-sea mining approved. OceanCare holds observer status at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and will be represented at the 28th meeting of the ISA in July.