Who are we?
Deep Sea Defenders is an environmental organization dedicated to securing a global ban on Deep Sea Mining. We wish to call attention to the ways in which this industry would threaten ocean life, and therefore all life on the planet.
What is Deep Sea Mining?
You may never have heard of it, but DSM is far from a far-off hypothetical concept. Exploration contracts have been awarded to 31 corporations & countries, and exploitation could begin as early as 2023 - unless we stop them.
The three varieties of Deep Sea Mining
#1: The extraction of Polymetallic Nodules from the seabed
#2: The extraction of Cobalt-Rich Crusts from seamounts
#3: The extraction of Polymetallic Sulphides from hydrothermal vents
All three varieties would be devastating to the organisms & ecosystems who inhabit those areas, and far beyond.
All Earthly life is popularly thought to have originated in & around hydrothermal vents, and they continue to act as a home for innumerable marine species, who depend on the proper functioning of those vents for their survival.
Seamounts are a regular feeding ground for creatures on every trophic level.
Among the mud & silt of the seabed, polymetallic nodules provide an essential hard surface for creatures like starfish, crustacean larvae, 4,000 year old coral, and 11,000 year old sponges!
Fine particulate matter will be unleashed into the water column, which would very likely result in the injury and/or death of billions of fish. Primarily, as a result of heavy machinery moving along the seabed, and secondarily, via the release of unwanted material collected during the extraction process; an estimated 2-6 million cubic feet per day, per machine.
Light & Sound Disturbances
Most deep sea creatures are evolutionarily adapted to conditions of complete darkness & silence.
Disturbances of light and sound would likely alter the behaviour of these animals in ways which would serve as a detriment to themselves.
What's Our Primary Threat?
The plans of The Metals Company (a Canada-based corporation) are at a more advanced stage than any other project. They plan to commence operations as soon as 2024; mining the seabed for polymetallic nodules in an area of the Pacific Ocean called the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. The Pacific island nation of Nauru is the sponsoring state of Nauru Ocean Resources Inc, a subsidiary of The Metals Company.
Deep Sea Mining has been attempted before, by another Canadian corporation called Nautilus minerals several years ago off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Those plans were met with fierce local resistance, most notably from the 'Alliance of Solwara Warriors', who took it upon themselves to organize protests, petitions, lawsuits, and inform people of the risks that DSM posed to the ocean, and thereby their own livelihoods. The resistance was successful, and Nautilus was eventually driven to declare bankruptcy. We seek to emulate and expand upon the example of those brave activists in our work.