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Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining

Publication ,  Journal Article
Washburn, TW; Turner, PJ; Durden, JM; Jones, DOB; Weaver, P; Van Dover, CL
Published in: Ocean and Coastal Management
June 15, 2019

Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining is challenging, given the data-poor state of knowledge of deep-sea ecosystem structure, process, and vulnerability. Polling and a scale-intensity-consequence approach (SICA) were used in an expert elicitation survey to rank risk sources and perceived vulnerabilities of habitats associated with seabed nodule, sulfide, and crust mineral resources. Experts identified benthic habitats associated with seabed minerals as most vulnerable to habitat removal with a high degree of certainty. Resource-associated benthic and pelagic habitats were also perceived to be at risk from plumes generated during mining activities, although there was not always consensus regarding vulnerabilities to specific risk sources from different types of plumes. Even for risk sources where habitat vulnerability measures were low, high uncertainties suggest that these risks may not yet be dismissed. Survey outcomes also underscore the need for risk assessment to progress from expert opinion with low certainty to data-rich and ecosystem-relevant scientific research assessments to yield much higher certainty. This would allow for design and deployment of effective precautionary and mitigation efforts in advance of commercial exploitation, and adaptive management strategies would allow for regulatory and guideline modifications in response to new knowledge and greater certainty.

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Published In

Ocean and Coastal Management

DOI

ISSN

0964-5691

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Volume

176

Start / End Page

24 / 39

Related Subject Headings

  • Fisheries
  • 44 Human society
  • 41 Environmental sciences
  • 37 Earth sciences
  • 16 Studies in Human Society
  • 05 Environmental Sciences
  • 04 Earth Sciences
 

Citation

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Washburn, T. W., Turner, P. J., Durden, J. M., Jones, D. O. B., Weaver, P., & Van Dover, C. L. (2019). Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining. Ocean and Coastal Management, 176, 24–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.04.014
Washburn, T. W., P. J. Turner, J. M. Durden, D. O. B. Jones, P. Weaver, and C. L. Van Dover. “Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining.” Ocean and Coastal Management 176 (June 15, 2019): 24–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.04.014.
Washburn TW, Turner PJ, Durden JM, Jones DOB, Weaver P, Van Dover CL. Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining. Ocean and Coastal Management. 2019 Jun 15;176:24–39.
Washburn, T. W., et al. “Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining.” Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 176, June 2019, pp. 24–39. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.04.014.
Washburn TW, Turner PJ, Durden JM, Jones DOB, Weaver P, Van Dover CL. Ecological risk assessment for deep-sea mining. Ocean and Coastal Management. 2019 Jun 15;176:24–39.
Journal cover image

Published In

Ocean and Coastal Management

DOI

ISSN

0964-5691

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Volume

176

Start / End Page

24 / 39

Related Subject Headings

  • Fisheries
  • 44 Human society
  • 41 Environmental sciences
  • 37 Earth sciences
  • 16 Studies in Human Society
  • 05 Environmental Sciences
  • 04 Earth Sciences