Greenpeace activists from Aotearoa in New Zealand and Mexico have peacefully confronted a deep sea mining vessel off the Manzanillo coast of México this afternoon as it headed back from the Pacific to the port. Activists reportedly protested in a kayak, holding banners that asked to end deep-sea mining.
Greenpeace Aotearoa campaigner named James Hita, on a small vessel off the coast of Manzanillo, delivered a protest message via radio to the captain of the deep sea mining ship named Hidden Gem.
He stated they’re here today as deep sea mining threatens the ocean’s health and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on it.
The ocean is home to over 50% of life on Earth and one of our greatest allies in fighting against the ongoing climate crisis. They are not standing by while mining firms begin plundering the seafloor for profits.
The ‘Hidden Gem’ drillship commissioned by The Metals Company, a Canadian miner, has returned from eight-week-long test mining in the Clarion Clipperton Zone between Hawaii and México. One of the largest vessels of its kind in the whole world, the ship has lifted and mined onboard about 3,000 tones of polymetallic nodules in a trial from the seafloor. This could pave the way for full-scale commercial mining.
Deep sea mining involves heavy machinery sucking up minerals from the deep and then transferring them to mining vessels, a procedure that results in a large sediment plume that scientists fear can smother ocean life, threaten people’s way of life, and even add to the ongoing climate crisis.
The governments of Samoa, Fiji, Palau, Micronesia, New Zealand, and Chile have announced backing for a deep-sea mining moratorium as Germany backs “precautionary pause”, and France’s President, Macron, called for an outright ban at the most recent session of COP27.
The Metals Company declared that in 2023, it plans to apply for a deep-sea mining license via the International Seabed Authority.
Almira Lara, Greenpeace México’s Campaigns Director, explained that the Clarion Clipperton Zone, where The Metals Company is carrying out its mining tests, is near México. Deep-sea mining, if conducted commercially, might have severe and dangerous implications for the country and the overall marine ecosystems.
The members of the organization are concerned regarding this. The communities and the whole planet are suffering from the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. There is no need for a new extractive industry that would worsen things. The government needs to identify the potential risks and stand up as a global and regional leader against deep sea mining.
He further added that deep-sea mining is not going to be tolerated. The movement spearheaded by Indigenous communities in the Pacific opposing such a destructive industry grows more robust. It includes thousands of individuals worldwide, an increasing number of civil society governments, and groups calling for a pause to deep sea mining. It cannot be permitted to go on any further.
References: Mirage News, Green Peace