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Palau in Fiji calls for a deep-sea mining moratorium

“Too high risk”:
The President of Palau said deep-sea mining, where rocks are sucked from the seabed, increases the vulnerability of the seabed and marine life.

Concerned about the potential impact of deep-sea mining on marine biodiversity, the Pacific islands of Palau and Fiji launched an “alliance” on Monday seeking a moratorium on early industry.

Support for the moratorium comes in the midst of a wave of global interest in deep-sea mining, but only if some environmental groups and governments ban or enforce the moratorium. There is increasing pressure to ensure that we proceed.

Deep-sea mining uses heavy equipment to suck up potato-sized rocks and nodules on the ocean floor that contain cobalt, manganese, and other metals that are primarily used in batteries.

Photo: Reuters

In a packed room at the United Nations Marine Conference in Lisbon, Palau’s President Surangel Whipps, Jr. asked:

“We believe it’s not worth the risk,” Whips said. “We encourage you to support deep-sea mining to increase the vulnerability of seafloor floors and marine life.”

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) of the United Nations has created regulations governing seafloor mining in the high seas (regions outside the jurisdiction of the country). Submarine mining is not permitted until global rules are applied.

The Deep Sea Conservation Union, which also supports the Moratorium, said it would meet next month and August to promote a proposed regulation that, if adopted, would allow deep-sea mining next July. Year.

Earlier this month, Chile also called for a 15-year moratorium on the adoption of regulations because of environmental problems and lack of sufficient scientific data.

Last month, G7 members agreed to agree to such a mining project only if strict environmental controls should control deep-sea mining and do not cause serious harm to the marine environment.

Not all countries are against it. China is a major supporter, and smaller countries, such as Nauru, called on the ISA last year to urgently adopt submarine mining regulations.

Companies such as Google, BMW and Samsung have signed up for the first time in the world to WWF’s call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.

“Costs outweigh short-term benefits,” said oceanographer Sylvia Earle. She “needs to press the stop button.”

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https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2022/06/29/2003780793 Palau in Fiji calls for a deep-sea mining moratorium

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