Greenpeace disturb deep sea mining test as operations re-start in Pacific

Activists on board the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior have disturbed a new deep sea mining impact test carried out by the company Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR).


After a recent major failure that resulted in a 25-tonne mining robot left stuck on the Pacific Ocean seafloor for days, Greenpeace International attached flags reading “Stop Deep Sea Mining” to the prototype robot, Patania II, in light of the environmentally destructive nature of this industry.  Large scale deep sea mining would cause loss of species and habitats, and risks disrupting carbon storage in deep sea ecosystems.

Dr Sandra Schoettner, deep-sea biologist from Greenpeace International on board the Rainbow Warrior, said:
“We took action again because GSR has restarted testing this heavy gear without even disclosing the damage it must have caused to the seafloor and no government is forcing them to do so. We are talking about a 25-tonne machine crashing on one of the worlds’ most fragile ecosystems. Governments like Germany, Belgium and the UK must take immediate action and stop the trials, or quit claiming to be global ocean champions. Deep sea mining has no place in a sustainable future.”

“After massive technical issues that left machinery stranded on the seabed for days, GSR has restarted testing this heavy gear in yet another part of the Pacific Ocean. Despite repeated requests for transparency, GSR is leaving the public in the dark about the impact its recent operations have had on the oceans. This reckless company is determined to continue with their risky activities at any cost.”

Images of the Patania II impact to the seabed are in GSR’s possession, however, the company has refused to share them with the public. GSR has now moved its ship from its contract area sponsored by Belgium to Germany’s contract area, to continue the trials, approximately 4000 metres deep in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, an area between Mexico and Hawaii. 

Deep sea mining contracts in the Pacific are dominated by a handful of companies and sponsoring governments headquartered in the Global North that are aiming to commercially extract minerals from the seabed in the future. Last year, a Greenpeace International investigation revealed that through subsidiaries, subcontractors and partnerships, corporations have seized control of deep sea mining contracts covering more than half a million square kilometres of the international seabed in the Pacific.


Photos & Video available here 


Sol Gosetti, Media Coordinator for the Protect the Oceans campaign:, +54 (11) 28313271 WhatsApp +44 (0) 7380845754

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