The call for a ban on deep sea mining is growing with the release of a Blue Line Statement from a coalition of Pacific Regional NGOs, an Alliance of church and civil society groups.
The Alliance kick started their campaign to stop deep sea mining (DSM) at an online launch in Fiji in March 2021.
The Blue Line Statement called “for a total ban on DSM within our territorial waters and in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The Statement calls “on our Pacific Governments and the international community to stand, once again, on the right side of history. What is actually known about our ocean depths runs contrary to the push for DSM.
They said that “As custodians of the responsibility to protect the Ocean against its exploitation and destruction in our time, we have a moral obligation and longstanding legacy to uphold.”
Radio NZ reported the Secretary General of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Reverend James Bhagwan said governments and companies claiming there would be minimal damage to the ocean from deep sea mining ran the risk of being on the wrong side of history.
“That which is actually known about our ocean depths actually runs contrary to the push for deep sea mining,” Bhagwan said.
“Scientists regularly warn against the devastating and irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats; the resulting biodiversity loss, including of many known endemic species and others yet to be identified, that will be affected and most likely will never recover; the risk of giant sediment plumes travelling beyond the mining sites, smothering and potentially destroying all life forms on the sea floor.”
“Scientists increasingly warn of:
1. the devastating and irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats,
2. the resulting biodiversity loss including of many known endemic species, and others yet to be identified that will be affected and that most likely will never recover,
3. the risk of giant sediment plumes traveling beyond the mining sites, smothering and potentially destroying all lifeforms on the seafloor,
4. the danger of wastewater plumes, including potential toxins lethal to marine life, discharged from the mothership, impacting ocean ecosystems at various depths with attendant risk to our already threatened fisheries,
5. the risk of toxins entering our food chain via contaminated fisheries,
6. potentially devastating oil spills from vessels occurring.”
“Pacific governments keen to pursue DSM have to ask themselves, to what extent are they willing to destroy the ocean’s life support system during a time of climate, and planetary emergency and in what is commonly known as the age of extinction. Our governments must ask themselves who stands to gain the most from the destruction of our ocean. “
ECO supports the call for a ban on deep sea mining.
Statement: Deep Sea Mining is Not Needed, Not Wanted, Not Consented! The Pacific Draws the BLUE LINE against Deep Sea Mining
RadioNZ: Pacific call for global ban on deep sea mining