“Our goal is to find out how much sediment the harvester will take off along with the nodules,” says Matthias Haeckel, a marine biochemist at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, who is coordinating the environmental review of GSR’s activities for a project called MiningImpact.
The researchers argue that this is a sign of struggle, preserved for millions of years in the fossil record: As a worm dragged a wriggling fish down into its lair, sediment would spill in to fill the void.
Macroplastics like bags and bottles are breaking into microplastics (defined as bits less than 5 millimeters long) that swirl in the water column and sink down to the seafloor .Writing today in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the National Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom say they can account for that missing plastic, and in the process reveal the stunning scale of the microplastic pollution problem.
However, NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Mark Morrison says no research was undertaken at the time of the closure of Separation Point to determine if the fish nurseries were present, nor has there been any since.
Elsewhere in the world’s oceans, much of the seafloor sediment is organic matter.There’s no upwelling and much less life at the surface, so much less organic matter is sinking to the seafloor to form sediment.
“These offshore CO2 storage facilities are probably a reasonable idea because the benefits of storing 1 million tons per year of carbon are larger than the effects of the leakage that may occur,” says Klaus Wallmann, professor of marine biogeochemistry at the GEOMAR Center for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, and an author of the report.