Results of MiningImpact project featured in Science Perspectives | JPI OCEANS

Results of MiningImpact project featured in Science Perspectives

2018.01.12

Results of MiningImpact project featured in Science Perspectives

MiningImpact researchers call for the integration of research and regulations to protect seafloor biota from future mining impacts in the renowned academic journal. 
The recently concluded MiningImpact project funded under the framework of JPI Oceans focused on studying the environmental impacts of seafloor mining, with a focus on polymetallic nodules. Key findings were that “deep-sea ecosystems associated with polymetallic resources support a diverse fauna with high spatial and temporal variability and largely unknown connectivity; that the loss of seafloor integrity by mining reduces population densities and ecosystem functions for many decades; and that sediment plumes will likely blanket the seafloor up to several tens of kilometers outside the mined area.“
 
Antje Boetius and Matthias Haeckel, both researchers involved in the project, call for strict environmental regulations drawn up by the International Seabed Authority as they finalize their regulations. The researchers' recommendations further include the establishment of protected areas with the same environmental conditions and community composition as in mining areas and long-term studies with realistic analogs to mining. Finally, the scientists believe that transparent and independent international scientific assessment of environmental management plans needs to be in place before any deep-sea mining activities. 
 
The presented results in the Science Magazine article stem from scientific research expeditions on the research vessels RV SONNE and RRS James Cook – conducted in the context of the JPI Oceans MiningImpact project - in 2015 to the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) as well as to the Peru Basin where the seafloor disturbance and recolonization experiment (DISCOL) was carried out in 1989. The MiningImpact project involved 25 institutes and was funded by 11 European countries in order to improve the necessary knowledge basis for deep-sea governance. The project started in January 2015 and ran for 36 months with an overall budget of approximately €13.2m (including ship time and in-kind contributions).
 

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