Australia can protect the Ocean by saying NO to deep sea mining


Civil society calls on the Australian government to support a ban or moratorium on deep sea mining as countries from around the world convene at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Jamaica to negotiate rules and regulations on deep sea mining.

The ISA meetings running from 10-28 July coincide with the deadline of a legal loophole triggered by The Metals Company via its Pacific Island sponsor Nauru. This loophole could open the way for mining applications to be given the green light even without regulations in place – these would open our ocean to the largest mining operation humanity has ever seen.

The Deep Sea Mining Campaign and AIDWATCH Australia urge the Australian government to join international allies in the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, United Kingdom and Canada, who call for a moratorium or a complete ban on this destructive emerging industry.

Dr Helen Rosenbaum of the Deep Sea Mining Campaign stated:

“We welcome the Australian Government delivering on its election commitment to protect the world’s oceans. We note our Government’s role at the UN Oceans Conference, their  leadership in signing the Global Biodiversity Framework in Montreal last year and in driving the ambitious High Seas Treaty.”

“Now it is time for Australia to join the 21 other states that support a moratorium or ban on deep sea mining. These include New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany who have responded to the call for a moratorium by members of our Pacific family – Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Federated States of Micronesia. France has opted for a complete ban.”

“Supporting a moratorium or ban alongside these countries at the ISA  is entirely consistent with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of which Australia is a signatory, along with our nation’s leadership in sustainable ocean management.”


Natalie Lowrey, Coordinator of AID/WATCH stated:

“In the race for transition minerals and to decarbonise our world, deep sea mining is not a viable climate solution. Recent research reports and analysis state that it could cause several times more damage to biodiversity than terrestrial mining, will threaten the $5.5 Billion Tuna Industry, and lacks social legitimacy.”

“Would-be deep-sea miners falsely claim that we need to mine the deep sea to power the ‘green’ transition to source additional metals for low-carbon technologies and that it is a more ethical alternative to land-based mining.”

“However, this is not substantiated by key actors in the renewable energy, electric vehicle or battery sectors or the 769 scientists globally calling for a pause on deep sea mining.”

Canadian-owned The Metals Company, headed by Australian Gerard Barron, admitted in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that: “Operations in the CCZ are certain to disturb wildlife and may impact ecosystem function. Impacts on CCZ biodiversity may never be completely and definitively known. It may also not be possible to definitively say whether the impact of nodule collection on global biodiversity will be less significant than those estimated for land-based mining.”

“Picture the worst practices of terrestrial mining,” stated Dr Rosenbaum,

“now imagine that happening 4 or 5 kilometres below the ocean surface. We have no idea of the full consequences, but we do know it risks the irreversible  destruction of the largest habitat and carbon sink on the planet.”

“If deep sea mining is allowed to go ahead it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of ocean resilience – ultimately affecting all life on our blue planet.”

“We call on the Australian Government to say no to deep sea mining” continued Ms Lowrey,

“As a mining country we should be a leader in structural adjustments away from growth in resource extraction and advocate towards reducing resource consumption.”

“This would include better terrestrial mining regulations and practices and recycling-based circular economies grounded in “cradle to cradle” product design.These are the solutions required to create a just energy future for all.”

The Deep Sea Mining Campaign is a member of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Dr Helen Rosenbaum, Deep Sea Mining Campaign
helen.rosenbaum1[at] +61 413 201 793

Natalie Lowrey, AID/WATCH
communications[at] +61 421 226 200

Fraphic image of the ocean with text that is black on yellow saying "Exploit, Extract, Extinct". The image calls on people to message their government officials to say no to deep sea mining