Towards the abyss: how the rush to deep-sea mining threatens people and planet - summary briefing
7 March 2023
It is enormous in size, covering two thirds of the seafloor and making up more than 95% of the Earth’s biosphere.1 It harbours an incredibly rich diversity of marine life, believed to be comparable only to the biodiversity of tropical rainforests.2 The deep-sea is also one of the last frontiers of scientific knowledge on Earth, as its biodiversity and the functioning of its ecosystems remain in la. [...] The need for reform of the ISA • I t is increasingly clear that the ISA is unfit as a regulator to achieve its dual mandate of protecting the marine environment and ensuring activities in the Area are carried out for the benefit of all of humankind. [...] The approval of exploration contracts, and the most recent decision to authorise test mining, have been made without the open and transparent consultation of state parties to the ISA or relevant stakeholders.74 Despite the absence of a Scientific Committee, only around a fifth of current LTC members have a background relevant to the protection of the marine environment – a key mandate of the ISA.7. [...] In the absence of a Scientific Committee and in light of the ISA’s clear mandate to protect the marine environment, the composition of the LTC should be reformed to significantly increase expertise in marine biology and conservation. [...] Oceanic and deep-sea fishery resources of the Environmental Calm: The Paradox of the Species-Rich Deep-Sea Floor, Pacific: the potential impacts of deep sea mining, in Secretariat of the in Gibson, R.