From: University of Gothenburg
Published October 25, 2017 11:39 AM

Marine Species Threatened by Deep-Sea Mining

Less than half of our planet’s surface is covered by land. The rest is water, and this environment is home to an enormous range of animal species, most of which remain undiscovered and thus have not yet been named.

Threatened by Mining Activities

A newly discovered species, Plenaster craigi, has turned out to be the most abundant species on the ocean floors. Its habitat is dominated by nodules, which are metal balls the size of grapefruits that have been formed over millions of years and that are found in most big oceans at depths of over 4 000 metres. A new study involving researchers from the University of Gothenburg finds that, as deep-sea mining companies remove the nodules in order to extract the metals inside them, Plenaster craigi will probably disappear entirely from the affected areas.

‘Modern society, with its power lines and advanced batteries, has a great need for cobalt, nickel and copper, metals found in high concentrations in so-called polymetallic nodules on the Pacific seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone,’ says Thomas Dahlgren from the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

Continue reading at University of Gothenburg

Photo: Polymetallic nodules with Plenaster craigi. White line is 1 cm. (Credit: University of Gothenburg)

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