November 4, 2021

The Ecological Risks of Deep-Sea Mining with Diva Amon, Anela Choy, and Steven Haddock

Eons of gradual accumulation have studded the ocean floor with valuable metals, and mining companies are racing to gobble up this untapped source of profit. Their appetites have driven the International Seabed Authority to greenlight mining expeditions in half a million square miles of seabed. Consideration for the complex ecosystems of the deep sea have been lost in this frenzy: the regulators are poised to release a fleet of machines into the ocean that could make these habitats nigh-unlivable for their many residents for centuries, with knock-on effects throughout the world’s food webs. In this panel, moderated by LEAP Student Fellow Sarah Baldinger, three ocean scientists will discuss the risks of planned deep-sea mining operations and how to protect the ecosystems at the bottom of the sea and the vast water column above.

Dr. Diva Amon is a deep-sea biologist working at the nexus of science, policy, and communication. She studies the animals living in deep-sea habitats and their responses to human action.

Dr. Anela Choy is an oceanographer and expert in water-column and deep-sea ecosystems. She directs the Choy Lab at UCSD, where she researches nutrient flows in the ocean.

Dr. Steven Haddock is a marine biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where he is an expert on deep-sea ecosystems and bioluminescence. He and Dr. Choy are the authors of “Treasure and Turmoil in the Deep Sea” in the New York Times.

This event is presented as part of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program’s speaker series, in collaboration with Yale Sustainable Food Program