We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about much of the ocean floor. This unknown landscape contains tons of new animals, fish, plants and more that we’ve never seen and aren’t even close to understanding.
But we do know one thing about seabeds: Many of them contain copper and gold that mining companies are itching to get their hands on.
Digging up seabeds and scraping out precious minerals is sure to have a serious impact on these unique habitats. Yet, there’s been very little proper environmental review of mining plans.
A Canadian company already got the rights to mine the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Now, Australia and India are considering opening up their ocean lands to mining too. Before the underwater gold rush starts, we need to make sure that we understand what our mining activities will do to the creatures that live in these areas.
Mining companies are starting to show great interest in the fact that the seabed contains large quantities of valuable materials, including copper and gold. The Canadian-based Nautilus has already got the go-ahead to begin exploratory mining off Papua New Guinea. Australia is considering allowing mining along its beautiful coast and now India seems to be getting on the bandwagon, primarily in a bid to reduce dependence on China.
The problem, nobody knows what the effect of mining a mile below the surface will be. It will certainly involve large-scale destruction of seabed habitats, some of which are new to science. Which creatures will disappear and what the impact will be on the larger sea ecosystems, including the world’s fisheries, is unknown, but it could be devastating.
Before mining companies are allowed to do whatever they like in an unregulated gold rush, proper environmental impact assessments are essential. Ask the International Seabed Authority to ensure that this happens.
Thank you for taking action,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team