Greenpeace, an organization that campaigns for the protection of the environment and preservation of endangered species, has boarded the deep-sea mining vessel, Coco. Currently sitting in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Mexico, this ship is operated by a Canada-based subsidiary of The Metals Company.
Greenpeace activists argue that the exploration Coco is conducting will destroy various marine life and its surrounding habitats. As a form of protest, Greenpeace has distributed kayaks that are placed just below the vessel for prolonged periods of time. This will prevent any equipment used for deep-sea mining from being deployed into the waters.
The subsidiary operating Coco has accused Greenpeace activists of endangering the crew aboard the vessel alongside breaking international laws.
As an international demand for seafloor minerals continues to grow, deep-sea mining has proved to be the most efficient way to retrieve these, according to an article published by the World Resources Institute. However, many countries have continued to advocate for increased research into the consequences of deep-sea mining.
During this protest, one of the deployed kayaks had been destroyed after Coco sped up unexpectedly. Legal representatives from the subsidiary operating the shipping state that this protest was unsafe for both the crew and activists and this incident is an example of why.
Despite the dangers that accompany this protest, Greenpeace activists refuse to leave the area until Coco agrees to terminate their exploration.
Later Thursday night, two Greenpeace activists boarded Coco, and are currently camping out at the main crane used to deploy and retrieve equipment. According to Louisa Casson, head of Greenpeace campaigns against deep-sea mining, the activists will not leave the crane until The Metals Company agrees to their conditions.
Early Sunday morning, Casson stated, “We will continue to try and disrupt as much as we can”. It is unclear at this time what lengths Greenpeace will go to in order to put a stop to this exploration, but their campaign does revolve around peaceful protesting.
Many studies have shown the various species and other organisms that reside in the Pacific Ocean. However, these creatures and their habitats can easily be disrupted by light and sound pollution, alongside clouds of dust caused by the mining equipment.
By illuminating marine ecosystems with artificial light, it can easily confuse many species, and can even attract predators to an area. Artificial light can make it harder for fish and other organisms to find subsistence and shelter.
On the other hand, sound pollution can also confuse marine organisms. Making it harder for them to locate prey or predators, and communicating with their groups. According to an article published in the Animal Welfare Institute, decreased diversity in marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, has proved to have a correlation with increased sound pollution.
At this time, it is unclear what next steps will be taken, but Greenpeace and The Metals Company will inform the public with information when it is available.
Edited by: Vicky Muzio
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