New Studies Raise Concerns over the Potential Ecological Impacts of Deep-Sea Mining

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is considering whether to allow commercial mining of the deep-sea floor for minerals and metals like cobalt and nickel. Proponents argue that it could meet the growing demand for rare-earth metals used in electric cars and renewable energy storage. However, recent studies suggest that deep-sea mining could have severe ecological impacts. A study found that the density of swimming animals dropped by 43-56% in areas affected by sediment kicked up by mining. Another study predicts that climate change will drive tuna to areas likely to be mined. The full extent of the damage and potential alternatives to deep-sea mining are still uncertain.


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