Pacific civil society wants seabed mining to stop

3:17 pm on 30 July 2015

Civil society organisations in the Pacific are joining a growing international call for a moratorium on mining exploration of the sea floor.

In the Pacific EEZ alone exploration leases have already been granted for an estimated 1.5 million square kilometres of the ocean floor.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation and the Bismarck Ramu Group in Papua New Guinea are particularly worried about the rapid pace at which PNG is moving towards being the first country in the world to carry out seabed mining.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation's campaigns officer Joey Tau says not enough is known about the potential effects of seabed mining and is calling for a halt to mining exploration to allow the science to catch up.

"To call for a moratorium on ESM (Experimental Seabed Mining) this experiment that is to take place in our oceans and seek more knowledge on the basis of to what extent this experiment will affect the lives of our pacific people."

Sampling copper under the sea

Sampling copper under the sea Photo: Nautilus Minerals