Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

Scientific rationale and international obligations for protection of active hydrothermal vent ecosystems from deep-sea mining.

Van Dover, C.L. and Arnaud-Haond, S. and Gianni, M. and Helmreich, S. and Huber, J.A. and Jaecke, A.L. and Metaxas, A. and Pendleton, L.H. and Petersen, S. and Ramirez-Llodra, E. and Steinberg, P.E. and Tunnicliffe, V. and Yamamoto, H. (2018) 'Scientific rationale and international obligations for protection of active hydrothermal vent ecosystems from deep-sea mining.', Marine Policy, 90 . pp. 20-28.

Abstract

There is increasing interest in mining minerals on the seabed, including seafloor massive sulfide deposits that form at hydrothermal vents. The International Seabed Authority is currently drafting a Mining Code, including environmental regulations, for polymetallic sulfides and other mineral exploitation on the seabed in the area beyond national jurisdictions. This paper summarizes 1) the ecological vulnerability of active vent ecosystems and aspects of this vulnerability that remain subject to conjecture, 2) evidence for limited mineral resource opportunity at active vents, 3) non-extractive values of active vent ecosystems, 4) precedents and international obligations for protection of hydrothermal vents, and 5) obligations of the International Seabed Authority under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for protection of the marine environment from the impacts of mining. Heterogeneity of active vent ecosystems makes it extremely challenging to identify “representative” systems for any regional, area-based management approach to conservation. Protection of active vent ecosystems from mining impacts (direct and indirect) would set aside only a small fraction of the international seabed and its mineral resources, would contribute to international obligations for marine conservation, would have non-extractive benefits, and would be a precautionary approach.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download PDF
(843Kb)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download PDF
(1071Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.01.020
Publisher statement:Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Date accepted:19 January 2018
Date deposited:26 January 2018
Date of first online publication:02 February 2018
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Export:
Export
Look up in GoogleScholar