Colima, Mexico – Greenpeace Mexico activists climbed to the top of a deep sea mining ship, anchored in Manzanillo Bay, in the State of Colima, to drop a banner reading “Ocean Destroyer” on Wednesday. The ship Hidden Gem is commissioned by Canadian miner The Metals Company, the first company to announce its intentions to submit an application to mine the sea floor in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), an area between Mexico and Hawaii.
“Protest against deep sea mining has never been so loud – from the fishing sector to financiers, Indigenous Peoples, scientists and big business. After the last International Seabed Authority meeting where more than 20 countries opposed this industry, The Metals Company announced its plans to carry out commercial mining activities. The way to stop this unscrupulous venture is through a moratorium, and that requires more governments like Mexico to speak up to safeguard the ocean,” said Ruth Ramos, Deep Sea Mining Campaigner, Greenpeace Mexico.
Deep sea mining involves large machinery sucking up polymetallic nodules from the deep and transferring them to mining ships like the Hidden Gem, a process that produces a large sediment plume that could potentially smother ocean life, threaten people’s livelihoods and worsen the climate crisis. The CCZ is an area known for its abundance of nodules, which are mineral deposits rich in copper, nickel, manganese and other minerals of economic interest. These nodules have taken millions of years to form and are found on the seabed, a very little explored area but where five thousand new marine species were recently discovered, which are already in danger due to the plans of this extractive industry.
Mining activity in this area represents an additional risk for Mexico due to its proximity to the protected natural area of the Deep Mexican Pacific and the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a Natural World Heritage site. The impacts of mining in deep waters include light and noise pollution, as well as sediment discharges that could increase turbidity in the water column and mobilize contaminants, all of which risk affecting the life of many species, including cetaceans.
In March 2023, world leaders adopted the first ever Global Ocean Treaty, with nations recently starting to sign it at a United Nations meeting in New York. This was a historic conservation victory, but the threat of deep sea mining is still lurking. Not only is the extractive industry exploring areas near Mexico, but the Norwegian government proposed in June 2023 opening up a large area in the Arctic for deep sea mining between Greenland and Norway.
For the first time in history, we have the opportunity to stop an industry that will bring irreparable damage to the environment before it begins. Mexico recently renewed its commitment to protect the oceans by signing the Global Ocean Treaty during the UN General Assembly. To truly do so, Mexico must oppose deep sea mining and support a moratorium on the destructive industry.
Photos and videos can be found in the Greenpeace Media Library.
You can help Greenpeace Mexico protect the oceans! We invite you to sign or share the “Stop Deep Sea Mining” campaign petition.
Dana Olguín, Media and press coordinator, Greenpeace Mexico, +52 1 55 4084 5320, [email protected]
Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)