Much too long to copy out here but a ‘must-read’ commentary from the Independent newspaper.
The Earth’s oceans and more specifically, their sea beds, provide the ‘Final Frontier’ for scientists. So little is known about these extraordinary habitats and communities. The unusual mineral wealth locked up under the seas has now become a focus for deep sea mining operations. Already high levels of pollutants such as PCB’s, deep sea fishing operations (bottom trawling), unregistered exploitation of rare minerals and the wide spread of the debris from under sea operations, are posing serious threats to deep sea corals, to unusual and ancient species of fish and animals, to ‘black smokers’ or hydrothermal vents on the sea floor, and to habitats, about which so very little is known.
99% of the deep sea floor has never been explored but is in danger now of being ripped apart before we even know what wonders are hidden down there.