Research is needed to inform environmental management of hydrothermally inactive and extinct polymetallic sulfide (PMS) deposits

Type Article
Date 2020-11
Language English
Author(s) Van Dover C.L.1, Colaço Ana2, Collins P.C.3, Croot P.4, Metaxas A.5, Murton B.J.6, Swaddling A.7, Boschen-Rose R.E.8, Carlsson J.9, Cuyvers L.10, Fukushima T.11, Gartman A.12, Kennedy R.13, Kriete C.14, Mestre N.C.15, Molodtsova T.16, Myhrvold A.17, Pelleter EwanORCID18, Popoola S.O.19, Qian P.-Y.20, Sarrazin JozeeORCID21, Sharma R.22, Suh Y.J.23, Sylvan J.B.24, Tao C.25, 26, Tomczak M.27, Vermilye J.10
Affiliation(s) 1 : Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC, 28516, USA
2 : MAR-Institute of Marine Research & Okeanos - Univ. dos Açores, Rua Prof Frederico Machado, 9901-862, Horta, Portugal
3 : School of Biological Science, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5DL, Northern Ireland, UK
4 : School of Natural Sciences and the Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, H91 TK33, Ireland
5 : Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
6 : National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
7 : Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, London, SW1Y 5HX, UK
8 : Seascape Consultants Ltd., Romsey, Hampshire, UK
9 : Area 52 Research Group, School of Biology and Environmental Science/Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
10 : Gallifrey Foundation, Chemin de l’Orchidée 2, Crans-près-Céligny, VD, CH1299, Switzerland
11 : Deep Ocean Resources Development (DORD), 2F, UNIZO Horidome-cho, 1-chome Bldg., 1-3-15 Nihonbashi Horidome-cho, Chuoh-ku, Tokyo, 103-0012, Japan
12 : U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, 2885 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA, USA
13 : Ryan Institute, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, H91 TK33, Ireland
14 : Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655, Hannover, Germany
15 : CIMA - Centro de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139, Faro, Portugal
16 : P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences, 36 Nakhimovsky Prospect, Moscow, 117997, Russia
17 : Equinor ASA, Forusbeen 50, Forus, Norway
18 : Department of Marine Geosciences, Ifremer, Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280, Plouzané, France
19 : Department of Physical and Chemical Oceanography, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, 3, Wilmot Point Road, PMB 12729, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
20 : Department of Ocean Science and Hong Kong Branch of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
21 : Deep-Sea Laboratory, Ifremer, Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280, Plouzané, France
22 : Retired, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, 403004, India
23 : Global Ocean Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Busan, 49111, Republic of Korea
24 : Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
25 : Key Laboratory of Submarine Geosciences, SOA, Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR, Hangzhou 310012, China
26 : School of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
27 : Polish Geological Institute–National Research Institute, Rakowiecka 4, Warsaw, 00-975, Poland
Source Marine Policy (0308-597X) (Elsevier BV), 2020-11 , Vol. 121 , P. 104183 (7p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104183
WOS© Times Cited 16

Polymetallic sulfide (PMS) deposits produced at hydrothermal vents in the deep sea are of potential interest to miners. Hydrothermally active sulfide ecosystems are valued for the extraordinary chemosynthetic communities that they support. Many countries, including Canada, Portugal, and the United States, protect vent ecosystems in their Exclusive Economic Zones. When hydrothermal activity ceases temporarily (dormancy) or permanently (extinction), the habitat and associated ecosystem change dramatically. Until recently, so-called “inactive sulfide” habitats, either dormant or extinct, received little attention from biologists. However, the need for environmental management of deep-sea mining places new imperatives for building scientific understanding of the structure and function of inactive PMS deposits. This paper calls for actions of the scientific community and the emergent seabed mining industry to i) undertake fundamental ecological descriptions and study of ecosystem functions and services associated with hydrothermally inactive PMS deposits, ii) evaluate potential environmental risks to ecosystems of inactive PMS deposits through research, and iii) identify environmental management needs that may enable mining of inactive PMS deposits. Mining of some extinct PMS deposits may have reduced environmental risk compared to other seabed mining activities, but this must be validated through scientific research on a case-by-case basis.

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Van Dover C.L., Colaço Ana, Collins P.C., Croot P., Metaxas A., Murton B.J., Swaddling A., Boschen-Rose R.E., Carlsson J., Cuyvers L., Fukushima T., Gartman A., Kennedy R., Kriete C., Mestre N.C., Molodtsova T., Myhrvold A., Pelleter Ewan, Popoola S.O., Qian P.-Y., Sarrazin Jozee, Sharma R., Suh Y.J., Sylvan J.B., Tao C., Tomczak M., Vermilye J. (2020). Research is needed to inform environmental management of hydrothermally inactive and extinct polymetallic sulfide (PMS) deposits. Marine Policy, 121, 104183 (7p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :