The open ocean hosts an inconceivable wealth of marine life. Most of it remains unseen and unknown. Actually, the international community has agreed to develop a new legally binding agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity by 2020. It aims to respond to the global ocean crisis caused by overfishing, pollution with plastics, ocean acidification, climate change, and other stressors from human activities. At the same time, States are also working on the legal framework for deep seabed mining – a considerable contradiction. As too little is known about the wealth that could be lost due to harmful impacts from mining activities, humankind should take its time to reflect, develop robust governance systems, and develop the knowledge needed to take informed decisions. The present study, authored by scientists from different backgrounds, makes the eloquent case for such a reflection, pause, and reassessment. The publication is recommended to any reader concerned about our oceans' future.
Christiansen, S., Currie, D., Houghton, K. J., Müller, A., Rivera, M., Schmidt, O., Taylor, P., & Unger, S.(2019). Towards a Contemporary Vision for the Global Seafloor. Implementing the Common Heritage of Mankind. Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V.
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