UK launches group to probe deep-sea mining

The UK government is inviting experts and academics alike to be a part of a newly formed environmental science network to investigate the impact of deep-sea mining.

The group will be UK-based and will be tasked with gathering scientific data and carrying out research to assess the impacts. It will also work alongside the UK’s decision to support a moratorium on the granting of exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects by the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Applicants can now apply to join the network and share their expertise, which will help to fill current evidence gaps in understanding the consequences of deep-sea mining on ecosystems.

“Bringing together the UK’s environmental science expertise to share internationally will help the UK ensure that the highest environmental standards are enforced on deep sea mining,” the government said.

Marine Minister Lord Benyon said the UK is committed to protecting the world’s ocean and improving conservation of marine ecosystems.

“It’s important that we ensure the best environmental standards are in place so damaging activities like deep-sea mining are strongly regulated,” he said.

“This new network is a further step in showing how we can use the scientific expertise that is on offer to protect and improve the conservation of our marine biodiversity.” 

Professor Daniel Jones from National Oceanography Centre said the new DSM Environmental Science Network will be an excellent way to harness the skills of the UK community with expertise on environments of interest for deep-sea mining.

“It will enable the very active research being carried out by UK scientists to be communicated quickly and effectively to the government to support evidence-based decision making on this topic,” he added.


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