Scientific Trip to Study Potential Impact of Deep Sea Mining



Our biologist henri Robert in front of research vessel RV Sonne
Scientific Trip to Study Potential Impact of Deep Sea Mining
post by
Reinout Verbeke

One of our biologists, Henri Robert, is on board of the new German research vessel Sonne. Together with 40 other scientists and technicians he will study the potential environmental impacts of the future mining of so-called manganese nodules in the deep sea. Henri is blogging about his expedition.

The vessel took the scientists to the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) in the central Pacific, currently the largest known reserve of polymetallic nodules, which are rounded accretions of several commercially important metals such as nickel, copper and cobalt, and rare earth elements.

The project falls under the JPI Oceans Initiative on the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining. During this 2 month-long expedition, Henri Robert will collect benthic crustaceans in order to study the diversity, the genetical connectivity and the recolonization potential of these poorly known organisms who are a major conservation concern.

Henri Robert blogs about his expedition, financed by BELSPO, on our Tumblr

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