pacific tagged posts

The complexities of mapping Pacific and Asian reefs

Des and Kelvin of Gladstone, Katy and Filimone of Fiji and Victor and Christina of Palau all have the same issue – reefs under their care face unprecedented threats. Reefs that have protected shores and supported local fisheries for thousands of years.  Fisheries sustained through customary management rooted in traditional ecological knowledge accumulated over millennia, reflecting local peoples’ deep understanding of their ecosystems. 

They are not alone – the Pacific is home to 27% of the world’s coral reefs and her island nations are particularly reliant on healthy oceans for food, income and coastal protection, says Dr Manuel Gonzalez-Rivero, Australian Institute of Marine Science.  

New understandings and tools are needed to manage reef-bound islands and coastlines faci...

Read More

Proposed deep-sea mining would kill animals not yet discovered

Miles below the surface on the Pacific seafloor, a research robot operated by GEOMAR

When a 27-ton mining robot called Patania II began vacuuming up metal ores from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in April 2021, it was not alone. Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR), the Belgian company that developed the robot, had a group of scientists watching its every move—or rather, an array of remotely-controlled vehicles equipped with cameras and other sensors.

GSR is one of several companies that hopes to begin mining the seabed on an industrial scale in the coming years, perhaps as early as 2024. Some are touting the seabed as a sustainable source of the metals needed to produce batteries for electric vehicles or smartphones. Meanwhile, scientists are trying to figure out just how much ecological damage deep-sea mining would do.

The short answer is a lot, according to the ...

Read More