Seabed: Mining

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th July 2019.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential environmental effects of deep-sea mining.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra is investigating the environmental effects of deep-sea mining through a cross-Government working group including Cefas, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The working group is supported by input from the National Oceanography Centre, Natural History Museum and British Geological Survey who are involved in a number of ongoing academic projects considering the impacts of deep sea mining. In addition, FCO and Defra commissioned a workshop in February 2019 which brought together UK universities, industry and consultancies involved in the assessment of deep sea mining activities, to share information, progress and research findings. The outputs of these discussions are being used to inform the UK’s input into the development of regulations, standards and guidelines at the International Seabed Authority.

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