The MIDAS [Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation] partnership represented a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs from across Europe. MIDAS carried out research into the nature and scales of the potential impacts of mining, including 1) the physical destruction of the seabed by mining, creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation; 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process and their effect on deep-sea ecosystems. Key biological unknowns, such as the connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover were addressed.
The MIDAS partnership comprises 32 organizations from across Europe, including research institutes, universities, specialist SMEs and industry partners. This partnership brings together a wealth of scientific expertise in deep-sea biology, ecology, biochemistry, oceanography, geology and geochemistry to work alongside specialists in marine policy, environmental regulation and legislation. A critical component of the partnership is the expertise in deep-sea exploitation operations and technologies brought by our industry partners, who will also drive the engagement with other commercial stakeholders in the offshore sector.
Start date: 1 November 2013
Duration: 36 months
Project budget: € 12 M
EC contribution: € 9 M