Exploring Deep Sea Resources
It is becoming more feasible to exploit deep-sea resources as a result of technological developments and economic conditions.
Deep-sea ecosystems are some of the most fragile and little understood on Earth. As a result, the knowledge needed to ensure a sustainable exploration and exploitation and to build appropriate policy frameworks is scarce. In particular, only limited areas of the seafloor have been mapped at a resolution sufficient to undertake meaningful resource assessments or exploration scenarios.
A coherent and long-term research effort is needed to support evidence based governance of the deep-sea biological, mineral and energy resources. This should also include scientific input to technological developments to ensure sustainable exploration and exploitation (see also Strategic Area 2: Technology and Sensors Development).
- Coordinate efforts to undertake a high resolution, multi-beam survey and habitat distribution and develop fit for purpose equipment for the deep-sea.
- The mapping effort will be combined with research on deep-sea ecosystems and habitats. This will develop a better understanding of the impacts of exploitation of deep-sea resources and provide guidance for environmental impact assessments.