“We don’t even know the life down there”: Greenpeace sounds the alarm on destructive deep sea mining – Petchary’s Blog

“The problem is, the technology is far ahead of the science, and we don’t understand all the science of the deep sea yet,” said Hemphill. He explained that deep sea mining would involve the basic destruction of the marine ecosystem. It would be like a “giant lawn mower or vacuum cleaner,” he added, stirring up the sea bed. This would create huge plumes of debris, that would smother coral reefs and have a major impact on everything that lives in the sea, including mammals such as dolphins and fish. Once the nodules of minerals are dug up off the floor, everything would be sucked up into one big tube onto the massive mining ships, where the minerals would be removed and the remainder thrown back into the sea.

The effect of these plumes is, Hemphill emphasized, impossible to predict. However, the noise would be tremendous, affecting marine mammals in particular – disrupting the complex communication systems of whales, for examples.

Two more terrible risks to this altogether devastating vision of the future: the impact on fisheries around the world would, inevitably, be catastrophic. And secondly, the natural mechanism of carbon storage in the deep sea floor would be destroyed. This could have disastrous effects on climate change. The sea is one vast carbon sink. How could we even be considering this, as the climate crisis deepens?

Source: “We don’t even know the life down there”: Greenpeace sounds the alarm on destructive deep sea mining – Petchary’s Blog