Deep Sea Mining

The seafloor might feel remote, but what happens there impacts us all. Stopping deep sea mining before it starts would help to protect wildlife, crucial ecosystems and countless wonders that haven’t yet been discovered.

A juvenile Pancake Batfish (Halieutichthys aculeatus) trawled from between 200m depth and the surface, Gulf of Mexico, July 2018. The adults live on the sea floor in a benthic lifestyle and have been found at depths below 800m. The adults have a body that is flattened out like a pancake and they have modified fins for walking along the bottom. The larval and juvenile fishes inhabit the water colum.
Protest against Deep Sea Mining Vessel in Mexico. © Gustavo Graf / Greenpeace
Stop Deep Sea Mining before it starts

Greedy companies want to mine the seafloor for profit. 2 million people worldwide say no to deep sea mining – will you join them?

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The problem

Our Deep Sea ecosystems are some of 
the most uncharted in the world. But 
before we get to fully understand them, 
we could lose them.

Greenpeace team on the Arctic Sunrise during the campaign against Deep Sea Mining.

This is how we stop deep sea mining, together

Hold governments accountable for deep sea mining

The Australian Labor Party has supported a moratorium on deep sea mining, thanks in part to the continued pressure from climate advocates and scientists. Now we must ensure that what is said in party memos is translated into action.

Keep up pressure ahead of the next ISA meeting

The International Seabed Authority is an intergovernmental body that regulates the deep sea, an area outside the jurisdiction of any one country. The go-ahead to start deep sea mining could come from agreements at the next meeting of the ISA in July 2024. So far only exploratory licenses have been granted for test operations in a region between Mexico and Hawaii, and no mining has begun. But the biggest mine operator, The Metals Company, has put forward an aggressive timeline to begin extracting at a large scale.

Amplify Pasifika voices calling for a ban

We can use your gifts to work with our global Greenpeace network to amplify the voices of Pasifika people standing up against deep sea mining and show the potential harm to ecosystems, which they are the custodians of.

Kingston, Jamaica – The 28th Session of the International Seabed Authority starts on 16th March with world delegates gathering in Kingston, Jamaica less than two weeks after the Global Ocean Treaty was agreed at the United Nations. The meeting is a critical moment for the future of the oceans as deep sea mining companies are rushing the start of this risky industry.

What’s at stake?

Illustration of a deep sea mining machine for the retrieval of minerals and deposits from the ocean floor found at depths of 200 metres up to 6,500 metres.
Illustration of a deep sea mining machine for the retrieval of minerals and deposits from the ocean floor found at depths of 200 metres up to 6,500 metres.

Deep marine ecosystems are one of only a few remaining untouched habitats. To extract the mineral deposits in the deep ocean, mining operations scrape up the seabed with giant drill-like machinery, destroying the habitats of endangered and unique species like sea pangolins. Resulting sediment plumes could kill untold numbers of sea animals by poisoning and smothering life for kilometres around a mining site and anywhere processed sediment is pumped back into the ocean.

Mining companies claim that extracting rare metals found in the deep sea is the only way to produce the batteries we need for electrifying the power supply. This is false, and we cannot let the mistakes of land-based mining be repeated. Electric vehicle companies, battery manufacturers, and renewable energy agencies have spoken out against deep sea mining because the risks of pollution and environmental destruction are far too great. Recycling and reusing the materials already extracted is the safest pathway to meeting renewable power needs.

We have already seen that deep sea mine operators cannot be trusted. In late 2022 test operations, The Metals Company was caught discharging waste directly into the ocean. Scientists monitoring the mining tests also came forward to allege deficiencies in the program’s scientific monitoring system, poor sampling practices, and equipment failure making data collected during the tests deeply flawed and unreliable to greenlight commercial-scale mining.

Our work is 100% funded by people like you. A regular donation, every 4 weeks is the most effective way to ensure we can fight daily to ensure world leaders act urgently to secure the future of our oceans and all life on Earth.

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