Is the fate of our deep sea in the hands of mining companies?

Our first speaker at ASftS#7 was Alanna Smith. She is the director of the environmental organisation Te Ipukarea in the Cook Islands. Last year the Cook Islands signed three Seabed minerals exploration licences. One of the companies involved is the Belgium-based dredging company DEME. As Alanna was in Jamaica following the 28th meeting of the council of the ISA, the International Seabed Authority, she agreed on prerecording a video statement.

Her contribution offers an alternative view of what is happening now, in the Cook Islands and elsewhere, especially since for her the focus is on Ocean Health.

Does she think a different type of research is needed? One that focuses on the ocean and livelihoods? Cultural values and/or ocean systems, for example? How do governments and companies approach a sensitive issue like deep-sea mining, and can it be done differently?

CI nodule sampling expeditions

Photo by SBMA - Click for high res