Our oceans are widely unknown and only a fraction of the seas are protected. Yet, the mining company that is planning to "break up the top layer of the seabed" claims that the site will recover quickly and that life will return within 5-10 years.
I am not a marine biologist but that does not sound right to me. This is the first time mining has taken place in the deep sea and so how can the long term effects be known? Unconsidered remarks from money making companies should not be trusted by default. How they got the permission in the first place baffles me. We dump our rubbish in the sea, disregard the scientific caps on fishing and agree on large scale mining of the seabed. Would we be as bold if we could see the effects? Just because we can't see it- it doesn't mean it's not there.
"The deep ocean is not yet mapped or explored and so the potential loss of fauna and biospheres from mining is not yet understood. "Only 3% of the oceans and only 1% of international waters are protected, which makes them some of the most vulnerable places on earth - what we desperately need is a global network of ocean sanctuaries." According to Nautilus, the mine will have a minimal environmental footprint, covering the equivalent of about 10 football fields and focusing on an area which is likely to be rapidly re-colonised by marine life. Mr Johnston said: "It's a resilient system and studies show that life will recover in 5-10 years. An active venting site 1km to the southeast has the same bugs and snails and the current will carry the bugs and snails to the mine site. We expect it to recover quite quickly." But this will be the first attempt to extract ore from the ocean floor, so the operation - and the company's assurances about the impacts - will be watched closely.