Waikiki Aquarium Seminar Series: Mining the deep-sea floor

November 29, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom, 2777 Kalakaua Ave.

Mining the deep-sea floor: treasure versus destruction in the ocean's most pristine ecosystems Craig R. Smith, Professor of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Vast deposits of manganese nodules rich in valuable minerals (copper, nickel, cobalt and rare-earth elements) occur on the deep seafloor between Hawaii and the coast of Mexico. Plans for seafloor mining of these minerals are far advanced, with exploration claims covering more than 1 million square miles of abyssal plains at 4000-5500 m depth (2.5 - 3.5 miles down). The deep-sea ecosystems targeted for mining are among the most pristine and least resilient on the planet, and harbor unexpectedly high and novel diversity. I will discuss the international regulatory framework for deep-sea mining, the remarkable characteristics of the diverse deep-sea communities found in nodule regions, the nature and scales of ecosystem disruption expected from nodule mining, and the conservation measures that are currently in place for environmental protection.

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Event Sponsor
Waikiki Aquarium, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Lisa Golden, (808) 440-9021, lisa.golden@waquarium.org, https://waikikiaquarium.eventbrite.com/

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