Excavating the Abyss


| 3/14/2008 4:48:53 PM


Abyss fishThere’s an underwater land rush taking place around the globe. Last year, reports Seed, Russia made claims on a resource-rich section of the Arctic. Other nations have followed suit, pushing to extract resources from the area’s ocean waters. Meanwhile, mining concerns are planning to tap dense mineral deposits in hot-water vents, which are teeming with unknown fauna. And while plans for deep-sea extraction often include efforts to minimize environmental impact, Plenty reports online that scientists don’t understand deep-ocean ecosystems well enough to adequately anticipate problems.

All of this, says Seed, has led to increased internal pressure for the United States to join most of the world’s nations by ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The 1982 treaty puts the mid-ocean under international jurisdiction, ensuring a more careful approach to deep-sea mining. It also gives each country economic rights to its own continental shelf. Since the U.S. shelf is massive, domestic companies now have even more incentive to lobby for the environmentally friendly treaty, which up until now a few senators have blocked in the name of national sovereignty.

Steve Thorngate 

Image by icelight, licensed under Creative Commons.



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter