Threatened by mining, polymetallic nodules are required to preserve abyssal epifauna

November 30, 2015

Scientific Publication
Dr Ann Vanreusel et al. of the Marine Biology Research Center of Ghent University, the Biology Department & Centre for Environmental Studies of Portugal, the Marine and Environmental Science Centre of the Azores, the Okeanos R&D Center of the University of the Azores, the Deep-Sea environment Laboratory of Ifremer in France and the Senckenberg am Meer insititute in Germany have published a new academic paper in the renowned journal Nature. The article describes how epifauna from sites with contrasting nodule coverage in four license areas (including GSR’s) was compared. Results showed that epifaunal densities are more than two time higher at dense nodule coverage. It was highlighted that nodules are important to preserve epifaunal biodiversity. GSR’s is proud to having contributed to this important research and is actively working together with the regulator, scientists and stakeholders to establish preservation areas as a precautionary measure to safeguard local ecosystems and potentially provide additional sources for regeneration. As GSR will require a minimum nodule abundance to obtain commercial production, only a fraction of the nodule containing surface may be mined.