What is it?
The quantity of minerals occupying the ocean floor is potentially large. Seabed mining is concerned with the retrieval of these minerals to:
- ensure security of supply; and
- fill a gap in the market where either recycling is not possible or adequate, or the burden on terrestrial mines is too great.
Why EU-level action?
Numerous organisations within the EU are presently engaged in seabed mining activities, both as technology providers and as mine operators. The sector, though small, has been identified as having the potential to generate sustainable growth and jobs for future generations.
However, our lack of knowledge of the deep-sea environment necessitates a careful approach. The European Commission is thus engaged in a variety of studies and projects aimed at shedding light on the benefits, drawbacks and knowledge gaps associated with this type of mining.
- Communication from the Commission: Blue Growth opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth [85 KB] All available translations.
- MIDAS (Managing Impacts of Deep-Sea Resource Exploitation)
- Fact sheet on strategic priorities of raw materials
Call for proposals: MARE/2014/26 - Interoperability improvements in Member States to enhance information sharing for maritime surveillance
A European action plan for safe and secure seas
EU ministers have backed a set of actions to make Europe's seas safer and to protect the EUs maritime security interests from the threats which it faces. The Action Plan, part of the EU's Maritime Security Strategy adopted in June 2014, takes a cross-border and cross-sector approach to confronting the seaborne perils which the EU is confronted with. The plan is also central to the EU's commitment to boost the maritime economy since investments in the European maritime domain can only be prosperous if the seas are safe and secure.
Atlantic stakeholder conference in Porto on 20 January 2015
As part of the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan, the European Commission invites stakeholders to share their practical knowledge and ideas at the Atlantic Stakeholder Platform conference. Registration is now open.