Deep-Sea Mining

Why is this an issue for ACOPS?

  • Deep-sea mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction (the Area) is a new industry for the ocean, on the cusp of becoming a reality with many environmental and technological challenges;
  • This is an area where more research and dialogue is needed to share information and improve understanding of environmental issues;
  • The Competent Organization for deep-sea mining is the International Seabed Authority; ACOPS Trustees contribute to its work through academic contributions;
  • Different aspects of the protection of the marine environment and the development of deep-sea mining are also discussed in the context of the meetings of governing bodies to the London Convention/London Protocol and  of the International Maritime Organization.

ACOPS activity

  • Dr Philomene Verlaan authored extensive comments on behalf of ACOPS to the ISA Stakeholder Consultation in 2015 (ISBA/Cons/2015/1).
  • Dr Philomene Verlaan was an external adviser to the EU MIDAS Project (2013-2016).
  • In 2016 ACOPS convened a House of Lords dialogue on deep-sea mining.

Future intentions

  • ACOPS seeks to contribute to the development of the regulatory framework (Exploitation Regulations/Mining Code) to support sustainable deep-sea mining.
  • ACOPS will maintain an interest in Regional Environmental Management Plans and in particular the development of a Strategic Environmental Management Plan for the Atlantic.
  • ACOPS will seek to raise awareness of deep-sea mining issues and link these to other international processes including IMO, London Convention/London Protocol and OSPAR.