9th Our Ocean Conference Highlight: Critical Dialogue on Deep Sea Conservation

The 9th Our Ocean Conference, held on April 17th, 2024, provided a pivotal platform for discussing the profound scientific and environmental challenges associated with deep-sea mining, deep-sea fishing, and the protection of seamounts.

A dedicated Press Briefing featured an intervention by Natalie Andersen, Scientific Lead at the International Programme for the State of the Ocean (IPSO), who underscored the vital role of scientific leadership in safeguarding our planet’s largest biome—the deep sea.

Natalie Andersen eloquently articulated the importance of the deep sea for climate regulation and biodiversity preservation. She highlighted how this vast, unexplored area serves as a significant carbon sink and is home to an incredible diversity of life, much of which is yet to be discovered. Andersen stressed the pressing threats posed by human activities such as pollution, climate change, and particularly, exploitative practices like deep-sea mining and destructive fishing methods.

Additional insights were provided by Minna Epps from the IUCN, who moderated the press briefing. Contributions from Lance Morgan of the Marine Conservation Institute and Sofia Tsenikli of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition highlighted conservation strategies and reinforced the case against deep-sea mining.

This briefing was a clarion call to protect our ocean depths from the ongoing threat of industrial exploitation. The collective insights offered a compelling argument for why safeguarding the deep sea is essential not just for marine life but for the health of our entire planet.

Below is an embedded video of Natalie Andersen’s insightful commentary for those who wish to see her discuss these critical issues firsthand.