The exploitation and extraction of metals and minerals from the ocean floor




What is deep sea mining and where is it happening?

Why the fuss? What will the impacts be?

If no deep sea mining what are the alternatives?


The deep sea — usually defined as the realm below 200 metres — is a world of extremes. Temperatures near the seabed in many places hover near 0 °C where there is next to no light and pressures can exceed 1,000 bars, equivalent to having a couple of elephants standing on your big toe. Despite this life in the deep seas thrives. The deep sea contains a vast array of ecosystems that researchers have barely begun to study.

The Deep Sea Mining campaign (DSMC) is focused on protecting our deep seas by prohibiting deep sea mining – an emerging and serious threat to the world’s oceans and to coastal and island communities whose identities are intrinsically bound to the sea. The world’s oceans provide livelihoods, food security, cultural and spiritual connections for millions of people.

There is an intense and growing interest in minerals exploration both in national and international waters is occurring in the context of already severe threats to ocean resilience, including from climate change, over-fishing and pollution.

Several companies are aggressively pursuing DSM across the Pacific region characterised by a lack of transparency, vested interests, and not adhering to the principles of free, prior and informed consent and the precautionary principle.