Oceana calls for an end to deep-sea mining

The potential risks of deep-sea mining have been highlighted by environmental NGOs. Photo: Oceana The potential risks of deep-sea mining have been highlighted by environmental NGOs. Photo: Oceana

Oceana is calling on EU citizens to help push for the suspension of the European Commission’s plans to develop deep-sea mining operations.

Oceana says deep-sea mining for finite minerals and other metal resources such as copper, gold, zinc, manganese or cobalt, is one of the most extreme activities taking place in the ocean.

The Commission initially proposed plans for developing the activity in its 2012 ‘Blue Growth Strategy’ as a way to generate sustainable growth and jobs, but environmental NGOs have warned of its risks and uncertainties. Despite this, the Commission is going ahead with the plans.

“It is not simply because we possess the technology to mine the seabed or because it has now become economically feasible, that we should necessarily do it. It is major political decision that EU citizens have a right, and duty to participate in,” said Xavier Pastor, executive director, Oceana Europe.

“Will deep-sea mining ensure a healthy and productive marine environment in the long term? The undeniable answer, is no,” he added.

Oceana’s also arguing that existing alternatives to seabed mining, such as developing resource efficiency and recycling policies, have not yet been thoroughly explored. Studies have revealed these alternatives would be more sustainable and cost-effective and could generate up to 500,000 jobs.

Now, Oceana is calling on citizens to actively contribute to the public consultation, which is open until 16 June 2014.

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