Essay about Deep Sea Mining

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Deep sea mining is a fairly new issue within the scientific community only being utilized in mineral collecting for the past two decades (Theil). Although this action is fairly new, it still can have devastating effects on ecosystems, especially the seafloor. “Because of the high demand for minerals and metals for making technological items, this new way of mining has gathered a lot of attention in the last five years. Three forms of deep-sea mineral resources have been considered thus far for commercial exploitation: manganese nodule mining on abyssal plains, cobalt-rich crusts on seamounts, and massive polymetallic sulfide deposits at sites of hydrothermal venting” (). Manganese, the most favorable metal, is located on the seafloor of abyssal plains in the form of nodules, polymetallic sulfide deposits are collected near hydrothermal vents, and cobalt-rich crust deposits are located on seamounts, underwater mounts that do not reach the surface of the water. When collecting these polymetallic nodules, ecosystems can be greatly affected in many ways. By scraping the surfaces, these nodules occupy to collect them, some of the only hard stratum supporting the sea floor is removed, leading to the death of any organisms living on or from the sea floor. () goes rather deeply into this issue and states that “this type of mining will remove permanently a major habitat type, causing local extinction of organisms” (). Removing nodules can also lead to the pollution of water around…

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