Conservation & restoration of deep-sea ecosystems in the context of deep-sea mining

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Project coordinator: Jozée Sarrazin -

Biology and Deep-sea Ecosystems (BEEP), IFREMER - France


Biology & European, Public and International Law

Development of the Uses of Resources and Marine and Coastal Spaces (Amure), Brest University/CNRS/IFREMER France

Adaptation and diversity in the marine environment (AD2M), CNRS/Sorbonne University


Deep Sea Ecology and Technology, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)


Marine Geosystems, (GEOMAR)


Marine Biodiversity, Senckenberg Nature Research Society

Business and Economics( INOMICS), National University of Ireland Galway Ireland
Ocean Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research The Nederlands
Arctic Biology, University Center in Svalbard Norway

Biological Sciences, University of Bergen


Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM)


Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA)


Okeanos, University of the Azores, Horta


Department of Human Geography, University of Seville



The deep sea, defined as water and seafloor below 200 meters, is the largest biome on Earth accounting for 92% of the global ocean. This species-rich biome harbours numerous ecosystems including vast abyssal plains, mountain chains and canyons as well as cold-water corals, sponge grounds, hot vents and cold seeps. However, the so far relatively “pristine” deep sea is at potential risk of biodiversity and ecosystem function loss due to anthropogenic activities, including deep-sea mining. Although mineral exploitation of deep-sea resources has not yet started, the International Seabed Authority as part of its mandate defined in the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea is drafting the mining code that shall regulate exploitation in the ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The ISA mandate includes the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects that may arise from deep-seabed related activities. DEEP REST aims at developing a novel approach to improve our capacities for science-based spatial planning and management in two ecosystems threatened by deep-sea mining. This project is extremely timely, as it directly addresses the concerns of policy-makers in a moment when seabed mining and its associated regulations are rapidly evolving from exploration to exploitation.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

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DEEP REST project

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BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: deep-sea, hydrothermal vents, nodules, seabed mining, biodiversity and ecosystem functionning, connectivity, environmental management, stakeholders, governance, policy

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published on 2021/10/15 10:29:00 GMT+1 last modified 2022-07-27T10:02:11+01:00