2010 Update

Seafloor Mineralization Working Group Update 2010

Chair: Maurice Tivey

Workshop and Colloquium and Seafloor Mineralization Working Group kick-off meeting, “Deep-Sea, Mining of Seafloor Massive Sulfides - A Reality for Science and Society in the 21st Century”, Woods Hole, MA, Mar 31st/Apr 2nd 2009.

Three recommendations of the working group have been followed up on:

i) Suggested that SMWG member Mark Hannington submit proposal to International Seabed Authority (ISA) to update technical database on seafloor vent deposits.  That was proposal was funded by ISA and submitted to ISA in December 2009.  A portion of the database was ported to the InterRidge database by Stace Beaulieu.  I think it would be a good idea to have ISA work with InterRidge to maintain updates to the database.  As you know new discoveries are made all the time (e.g. Cayman) and it behooves ISA to have the latest information when making decisions on seafloor leases.

ii) The SMWG recommended that a workshop be convened to determine guidelines for the design of Marine Protected Areas and Reserves for hydrothermal settings.  As chair, I wrote a memo in support of a proposed workshop – “Design of Marine Protected Areas for Chemosynthetic Ecosystems Potentially Threatened by Human Activities in the Deep Sea” by Cindy van Dover and Craig Smith which took place in the Spring of 2010.

iii) The SMWG recommended that more formal ties be initiated between United Nations environmental program (UNEP) and InterRidge in terms of outreach to small nations lacking scientific infrastructure to gauge their seafloor resources.  Yannick Beaudoin of UNEP-GRID Arendal has initiated this connection although I am unsure as to the current status.  Perhaps Yannick can update everyone on this at the meeting.

Other activity through the year

Tivey hosted Ian Stevenson of Nautilus Minerals for a visit to Woods Hole, Sept 29th, 2009,

Published article stemming from the workshop and colloquium:

Ref: Hoagland, P., S.E. Beaulieu, M.A. Tivey, R.G. Eggert, C.R. German, L. Glowka and J. Lin, Deep sea mining of seafloor massive sulfides, Marine Policy, 34, 728-732, doi:10.1016/j.marpol. 2009.12.001, 2010.

Maurice Tivey Invited keynote speaker, The New Gold Rush: Seafloor Hydrothermal Research and Marine Mining, Geological Assoc. Canada Spring meeting, St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, Feb 22, 2010.

Tivey hosted Ian Stevenson of Nautilus Minerals for a visit to Woods Hole, Sept 2nd, 2010.