Deep sea mining

Understand the consequences of deep sea mining

The deep sea floor is thought to contain a vast amount of valuable mineral deposits, such as cobalt, nickel, copper, and lithium. With rising demand for these metals to produce smart phones and other electronics, there is growing interest by mining companies to begin mining the deep seabed.

So, what is the problem with deep sea mining?

Disturbance of the seafloor:

The scraping of the ocean floor by machines will alter or destroy deep sea habitats, leading to loss of species and loss of ecosystems. Many species living in the deep sea do not occur anywhere else on the planet – and physical disturbances in just one mining site may wipe out an entire species.

Sediment plumes:

Some forms of deep sea mining will stir up fine sediments on the seafloor creating plumes of suspended particles. It is unknown how far the particles would disperse and resettle, and to what extent they may affect ecosystems and species, for instance by harming filter-feeding species that depend on clear, clean water to feed, such as krill and whale sharks.


Thousands of underwater species would be affected by noise, vibrations and light pollution caused by mining equipment and surface vessels, as well as a huge potential for leaks and spills of fuel and toxic mining byproducts.

So, what can you do?

Recycle your electronics:

Our modern world currently uses a lot of minerals for electronics and while work is being done to find more sustainable solutions to these minerals, we’re not there yet. One way to reduce the demand for mined minerals is to recycle your old electronics so that the minerals can be pulled from those instead of being mined. The circular economy is the future! Not only does recycling your old phones, laptops, etc reduce the need for mining, but it reduces the waste that goes into landfill.


This website lets you create your own advert to post to social media about deep sea mining. You can choose which company to appeal to to ask them to ban deep sea mined minerals from their supply chain. If the major companies that would buy the minerals preemptively ban them, the the mining companies will have no reason to mine.

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