– The campaign of the organization begins in Mexico to stop deep-sea mining because our country is strategic for this industry
– Greenpeace Mexico has established communication with the SRE to request that Mexico support the moratorium against underwater mining.
Veracruz, Mexico, June 8, 2023. – Within the framework of World Oceans Day, a group of almost 100 people formed the figure of an octopus with umbrellas illuminated with led spotlights on the plate of the T pier in the port of Veracruz, this with the objective of demanding that the Mexican government take immediate and effective measures in order to protect the oceans from the growing threat of underwater mining.
With this activity, Greenpeace Mexico begins its campaign against this extractive industry that seeks to exploit the mineral deposits of the deep sea bed, an activity that intends to be carried out even without having sufficient information on the harmful effects that it can have on the health of the marine ecosystems.
The Clarion Clipperton Zone, located between Mexico and Hawaii, is known for its abundance of polymetallic nodules, which are mineral deposits rich in copper, nickel, manganese and other minerals of economic interest. These nodules have taken millions of years to form and are the habitat of at least 5,000 marine species about which we know very little, but are already under threat.
“We must stop deep-sea mining before it starts. More research is still needed to understand biodiversity and ecosystem functioning at the bottom of the ocean, but we already know enough to understand that deep-sea mining is inconsistent with a sustainable future.” said Ruth Ramos, a campaigner for Stop Underwater Mining.
From the port of Veracruz, almost a hundred volunteers, activists and citizens joined Greenpeace’s global action to make visible the marine wealth that can be lost through underwater mining activities. They also called on Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and the Mexican Ambassador of Jamaica, Juan José González Mijares, so that during the next meeting of the International Seabed Authority, Mexico supports the moratorium on this industry.
This moratorium would prevent the regularization of underwater mining from being possible until sufficient information is available about its negative impacts.
“We have the chance to stop a destructive industry before it starts: thousands of people are calling on governments to protect the oceans from further extractivism. We will continue to make this call to the head of the SRE in the coming weeks ”, Ruth Ramos added.
Deep-sea mining does not yet exist in international waters, but companies have begun testing their machines, which are prototype polymetallic nodule collectors in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. These machines disturb the seabed indiscriminately, so all the biodiversity that lives there will be affected even before underwater mining activities are even regulated.
“Underwater mining poses a significant threat to marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The risks are high and there is no robust mitigation of these risks. Deep sea mining is not acceptable under any circumstances or conditions. There is no place in a sustainable future for this destructive activity,” said the campaigner.
She added that the recently approved Mining Law, in its article 20, already expressly prohibits these activities in the Mexican seas:
“The consistent thing is to promote the moratorium and not allow this industry to continue with its activities anywhere. All oceans are connected, so it is critical that protection reaches every corner,” she concluded.
Greenpeace is campaigning internationally to stop this activity that would endanger the health of our oceans and marine biodiversity. The international organization calls for seeking sustainable and responsible alternatives to obtain minerals, such as recycling and improving the technology of electric car batteries.