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Rally calls out Deep Sea Mining as "Greenwashing"

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

On World Ocean Day, activists in Canada said "NO!" to deep sea mining.

Rallies were held in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. Activists gave speeches and distributed brochures detailing the risks of seabed mining.

"What would deep sea mining actually look like? Well, imagine house-sized machines crawling along the seabed like a tank and indiscriminately vacuuming up the contents of the seabed," said Michelle Connolly during a speech at Jack Poole Plaza. "Floating particles would be carried throughout the entire water column by powerful currents, damaging the respiratory systems of billions of fish and marine animals."

Sandra Currie read a statement from a coalition of Pacific Islanders. "Deep sea mining is not needed, not wanted, not consented." The Pacific Blue Line statement calls for a ban on deep sea mining. The full statement can be read here.

Microbiologist and illustrator Julius Csotonyi spoke about the fragility of deep sea habitats and their importance as carbon sinks. "We're in a climate crisis right now. The last thing we want to do is interfere with yet another system that is actively removing carbon from the environment and locking it up into solid structures."

The deep sea is home to a diversity of species, and extinction is considered a likely outcome of seabed mining.

"It's not acceptable to destroy the lives of these mysterious animals like Viperfish and Frilled Sharks," said Michelle Connolly.

While the industry has touted deep sea mining as a climate solution, claiming that the extracted materials can be used in electric vehicle batteries, many scientists have spoken out, calling for a moratorium. Both the biodiversity of the deep sea, and its function as a carbon sink could be permanently damaged by mining, exacerbating the climate and biodiversity crisis.

The DISCOL study found long-lasting damage from simulated deep sea mining.

Activists are calling out the "greenwashing" of this looming industry.

MiningWatch offers an easy way for Canadians to contact their MPs to express concerns around deep sea mining.

There's also this petition calling on Canada to support a moratorium at the ISA.

Activists in Victoria, BC

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