The Wild West of Deep-Sea Mining

In the coming years, a new gold rush will begin. Deep beneath the ocean’s waves, from scalding hydrothermal vents to the frigid stretches of the abyssal plain, ocean processes have deposited vast quantities of valuable minerals on the seafloor. Now, the convergence of technological development and political will has placed this ore within reach. But like the gold rushes of old, the deep-sea-mining industry is emerging on the frontiers of society, far from legislatures and law enforcement. Officially, the nascent deep-sea-mining industry is governed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a nongovernmental organization established in 1996 by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The authority’s critical task is to coordinate its 168 member nations in establishing and enforcing regulations for the developing deep-sea-mining industry. click here to read the article 10:24