Indigenous activists say no to deep sea mining

Environmental activists have voiced their opposition to deep sea mining at the annual meeting of the International Seabed Authority.

They handed the conference a petition from more than 1,000 people across 34 countries and 56 indigenous groups calling for a ban to the deep-sea mining industry.

PMN News reports Hawaiian activist Solomon Kaho’ohalahala addressed the delegates with a traditional chant explaining "the ocean is our country and we come from the deepest depths of the seas".

He says indigenous people who rely on the ocean in their lives need to be considered. 

“We are calling for an immediate ban on deep sea mining because we need drastic changes in the way we manage our oceans. 

"The threat of deep-sea mining is huge. So, our measures to protect the ocean and the life within it must also be huge​.

“My people have lived in and around the ocean for generations. It’s who we are. We are the ocean, and we must act now.”

Delegates at the International Seabed Authority will decide whether to adopt a precautionary pause  and not approve any licence applications for commercial mining of the seabed or permit operations to begin as early as this year. ​

The activists are challenging governments and the International Seabed Authority to enact a ban on deep sea Mining effective immediately.

Alanna Matamaru Smith from Te Ipukarea Society says enough is enough.

“We are not in a position to add any new stress to our oceans by allowing deep sea mining to star. Overfishing, ocean pollution, and rising temperatures have already taken a huge toll.

“Why are we even considering a new layer of destruction to an ecosystem that provides so much for us?

“We need to start giving back to our ocean, not deprive it of its wonders.”   


Photo/Greenpeace Media ​ Caption: Activist Solomon Kaho’ohalahala at the International Seabed Authority welcome ceremony.