April 2019 · Volume 4, Issue 4                    Subscribe | Visit Website
The opening plenary of the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Photo courtesy ENB. 

Negotiations continue for Biodiversity Protection in the High Seas

From March 25th to April 5th, hundreds of delegates gathered at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan to continue work on one of the most consequential ocean-based treaty negotiations in recent memory. It was the second of four planned intergovernmental conference sessions to establish a new, legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity on the high seas, in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Each morning, representatives entered the sweeping lobby, walked past displays promoting the lofty aspirations of global harmony, and descended into the subterranean linoleum halls, navigating toward conference room four. In the front of the room, state delegates took their dedicated seats, while observers, including the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative grabbed available seats behind them or in adjacent viewing rooms. Seated delegates placed ergonomically challenging white plastic speakers over their ears, dialed into their language of choice, and settled in for a long day of discussions.

No way around it: these negotiations were an alphabet soup of acronyms, and the four subject areas of the meeting made full use of the unwieldy lexicon. The first week covered marine genetic resources (MGRs), including questions on the sharing of benefits, and measures such as area-based management tools (ABMTs) including marine protected areas (MPAs). The second week focused on environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and capacity building and the transfer of marine technology (CB/TT).

Read more: Negotiations continue for Biodiversity Protection in the High Seas.

From the Editor: Following up with Nautilus Minerals and the release of the draft mining code

The slow decline of Nautilus Minerals continues without much change. I reached out to several contacts both at Nautilus's corporate offices and to colleagues within Papua New Guinea. Since last month, most of the board of directors and the current CEO have resigned, Nautilus was delisted from the Toronto stock exchange, and previously responsive sources have gone quiet. 

The question on my mind is, with a 15% stake in the Solwara I prospect, what financial liability with the government of PNG shoulder with the collapse and fire sale of Nautilus's assets? According to PNG's Mining Minister, despite their setbacks, Nautilus remains in compliance with the government of Papua New Guinea. 
Nautilus minerals delists from Toronto Stock Exchange, from PNG's EMTV. 
While one deep-sea mining venture falters, significant advances emerged regarding polymetallic nodules, with the release of the Draft Regulations on Exploitation of Mineral Resources in the Area. This draft mining code is among the most important policy instruments for resource extraction on the sea floor. In the next few issues, the Deep-sea Mining Observer will dig deep into the current draft regulations. 
Secretary-General Lodge presents the 

Nominations for the Secretary-General's Award for Excellence in Deep-sea Research Due April 26.

The Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep-Sea Research recognizes the achievements of young researchers from developing countries who made outstanding contributions to deep-sea research or the development of environmentally sustainable regulatory frameworks. 

Nominations must be supported by two sponsors.and are due on 26 April 2019.
Please send all nominations to by the 26 April 2019.

New Resources

Upcoming Events

Career Opportunities

  1. (ISA) Contractor Training Opportunities.
  2. (MOF-ROK) Two (2) six-month internship (on-land) placements.
  3. (NORI) At-sea on-board placements to two candidates.
This month, on Twitter, users are highlighting a different environmental hero every day using the hashtag #30EarthMonthHeroes. It's good to see that the deep sea is well represented. 
Deep-sea Mining News in Brief

Courtesy Michael W. Lodge, ISA.


Regulating deep sea mining

(The Economist) A guest blog by Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority

Read more: Regulating deep sea mining.


Future marine sanctuaries? Image courtesy Greenpeace. 

This is what a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries could look like

(World Economic Forum) Long the subject of stories and myths, life in the oceans beyond territorial waters is far from picture perfect. Under threat from climate change, acidification, overfishing, pollution and deep-sea mining, the area is now a focus for international scientists, who want to limit exploitation with ocean sanctuaries.

Read More: This is what a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries could look like.

Recent Press Headlines

(Radio New Zealand) Directors exit seabed mining company.

(Radio New Zealand) PNG seabed mining company delisted from stock exchange.

(Science) First ever high-seas conservation treaty would protect life in international waters.

(Singularity Hub) A Bus-Sized Robot Will Soon Be Mining the Ocean Floor.

(Marine Technology News) Subsea Mining: The Next Big Thing for UUVs.

(The Narwhal) It’s only a matter of time before deep-sea mining comes to Canada. We’re not ready.

(ECO) ISA Release Draft Proposal of Exploitation Regulations for Deep Sea Mining.


Krypton Ocean: big vision and small steps towards mining the seafloor.

Krypton Ocean Group's proposed mining system.

One of the fascinating aspects of the deep-sea mining community is how much history is shared among contractors. Nautilus Minerals, GSR, DeepGreen, and, especially, Lockheed, have expertise among their staff stretching all the way back to the early days of the Glomar Explorer. During our investigation into nodules for sale, we interviewed several people who had been working on deep sea mining since the industry’s very inception that are still active in the ongoing progress towards production on the deep seafloor.

Which is why it is noteworthy when new players emerge from other sectors within the mining industry. In the last few years, Krypton Ocean Group has made their presence known through articles, social media, and patent filings. They are a relatively fresh face in the deep-sea mining community, but Krypton Ocean, based in the Ukraine, is not new to the mining world.

“It all started with onshore mining,” says Alina Kryvosheia of Krypton Ocean Group.  “Then, we had this idea of mining under water. It became obvious that the depletion of onshore reserves and the urgent need for battery metals for high-tech industries require new green solutions for resource extraction. And we launched Krypton deep-sea mining project.” Led by Vladyslav Kvyatkovskyy, Krypton’s vision includes both extraction and ore processing.  Kvyatkovskyy’s career in mining took off with the sale of a titanium-dioxide deposit in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine. His Demurinskiy Mining and Processing Plant would ultimately become Krypton Ocean Group.

Read the rest here: Krypton Ocean: big vision and small steps towards mining the seafloor.

Visit DSM Observer
DSM Observer is a free online resource for deep-sea mining professionals, providing access to the latest news and information about the industry in a single place. Our monthly e-newsletter features updates on technology, business news, deep sea science, environmental issues, and policy.

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DSM Observer is published by Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors, via a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences. Editor-in-chief: Andrew Thaler
Copyright © 2019 Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors, All rights reserved.

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