SOPAC - Applied Geoscience and Technology Division - SPC

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Federated States of Micronesia

Newsflash

As environmental concerns heat up amid growing interest in minerals exploration and mining of the Pacific ocean’s seabed, one scientist is advocating the search for more inactive hydrothermal vents as a way of safely mining the sea.

Dr Sven Peterson, a minerologist at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Germany, said inactive vents were less likely to host marine life, so mining them would pose lesser danger to the ocean’s ecosystems.

“At water depths of 500 to 5000 metres which the mining industry will be interested in, there is no light but we still see oases of life there. This, of course, is of concern among biologists who do not want mining to happen at these oases in the deep.