Deep Sea Mining and Its Negative Effects on the Environment

deep sea mining can bring ecological disaster



This term is defined as seabed mining that includes exploring and retrieving deposits and minerals from the depth of the oceans. The deep-sea mining is carried out at the depth of 200 meters.


Deep-sea mining is carried out by using modern technology. First, the remotely operated vehicles are used for the collection of deposit samples from the potential locations under the deep sea. This process includes the use of drills, cutting tools, robotic machines, etc.

Deep-sea mining is somewhat similar to strip mining. Once the desired location is confirmed, and metals are detected, a ship station is built at the location, and the process of excavation is performed.

The valuable material is taken to the ship and waste is dumped in the ocean.

Also read: Mining Pollution – Causes, Effects, and Solutions


The causes of deep-sea mining generally include the reasons why it is done.

1. Economic Development: Deep-sea mining will help in the development of the economy, making it stronger due to the worth of deposits in deep oceans.

2. Precious Metals: There are precious and undiscovered metal deposits in deep sea beds. These metals have a net worth of billion dollars.

3. Land Safety: It is assumed that the side effects of deep-sea mining are less as compared to the land mining that has effects on the whole ecosystem.

4. Depleting Land Reserves: The natural reserve deposits in the land are getting depleted due to the increasing human population and over-exploitation.

5. Investors Interest: The key purpose of deep-sea mining is lust for extremely expensive metals and investors are showing great interest in investment.

Also check out: Environmental Impact of Extraction of Pearls (Pearl farming)


The effects of deep-sea mining are not lesser than land mining.

1. Habitat Destruction: The exploitation of deep sea beds causes habitat loss and destruction for many species living in that area under the oceans.

2. Coral Reef Destruction: The coral reef ecosystem in the ocean is at high risk of disturbances due to deep-sea mining.

3. Biodiversity Loss: The most dangerous impact of deep-sea mining is biodiversity loss. The sensitivity of the marine system is disturbed by deep-sea mining.

4. Disturbances in the Marine Ecosystem: The deep-sea mining creates light and noise pollution as well as vibrations in the deep sea beds that are calm. It causes disturbances in the marine ecosystem.

5. Marine Pollution: The deep-sea mining causes marine pollution due to the generation of sediments from sea beds that are dumped back into the sea.

6. Oil Spills: Deep-sea mining can result in chemical pollution such as oil spills that have dangerous effects on marine biodiversity.

Also check out: Impact of Marine Species Harvesting Industry on Environment


1. Baseline Study of Deep-Sea Beds: There should be a comprehensive understanding of baseline studies related to deep sea beds. It includes the species living under sea beds

2. EIA of Deep Sea Mining Project: The environmental assessment of the deep-sea mining project should be carried out to highlight the impacts of deep-sea mining.

3. Awareness of the Importance of the Marine Ecosystem:  People should be made aware of the importance of the marine ecosystem that would cause livelihood loss for natives.

4. Laws and Regulations: There should be rules to prevent Increasing activities of deep-sea mining. The deep oceans are yet to be discovered.

5. Marine Protected Ares: The government should establish marine protected areas in order to nuisances caused by deep-sea mining.

You might also like to read: World Fisheries And Impacts Of Fishery Over-Exploitation


Deep-sea mining might have lesser environmental impacts as compared to land mining but this should be taken into consideration that the world is covered by 97% marine water. The disturbances to marine ecosystems will be catastrophic. The deep oceans and biodiversity are yet unknown to scientists. Not necessarily every deposit in the deep sea contains precious metals.

Also check out: Overfishing and Fish Stock Depletion – Causes, Effects, Solutions

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