Deep-Sea Mining

Why it matters

  • 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.

ACOPS Activities

  • Dr Philomène Verlaan is the voice of ACOPS on this topic. She specializes on scientific and legal issues linked to exploration for and exploitation of mineral in the Area. She has authored  a large number of peer-reviewed scientific and legal articles on this topic as well as talks to different audiences, was an external adviser to the EU MIDAS Project (2013-2016) and provided extensive comments on behalf of ACOPS to the ISA Stakeholder Consultation in 2015 (ISBA/Cons/2015/1);
  • ACOPS seeks to raise awareness of deep-sea mining issues and link these to other international processes including IMO, London Convention/London Protocol and OSPAR where different aspects of the protection of the marine environment and the development of deep-sea mining are also discussed;
  • ACOPS is contributing to the development of the regulatory framework (Exploitation Regulations/Mining Code) to support sustainable deep-sea mining;
  • In 2016 ACOPS also convened a House of Lords dialogue on deep-sea mining.