The quantity of minerals occupying the ocean floor is potentially large. Seabed mining is concerned with the retrieval of these minerals to:
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.