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Conservation news mongabay.com 24 Nov, 2021 18:00 am

If marine noise pollution is bad, deep-sea mining could add to the cacophony

If marine noise pollution is bad, deep-sea mining could add to the cacophony
Environmental science and conservation news

A new report suggests that the noise pollution produced by deep-sea mining activities could have far-reaching effects on the marine environment, from surface to seafloor.While there are many studies that measure the impacts of noise pollution on marine life, more research is needed to fully understand how sound from deep-sea mining could affect the ocean.Due to the paucity of information, experts say a precautionary approach to deep-sea mining noise is required and that clear regulations must be put into place by the International Seabed Authority.While deep-sea mining has yet to begin, a subsidiary of Canada-based The Metals Company plans to start mining in less than two years.

This is certainly true in the context of deep-sea mining, a controversial activity that, if allowed to proceed, would entail corporations extracting metals like copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese from the seabed — and creating a lot of noise in the process.Cyrill Martin, an ocean policy expert at the Swiss NGO OceanCare, said that noise pollution is currently a “wallflower issue” in the larger matter of deep-sea mining, and that more research urgently needs to be done to fill in knowledge gaps.

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