vegetation on the seabed floor

Seabed Mining


Seabed Mining Regulations

Stakeholders provide expert feedback on proposed rules

For perhaps the first time in history, a governing body and its member States have the chance to establish rules for an extractive industry before mining begins. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea established the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and invested it with the sole power to govern seabed mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Mining on the international ocean floor should not take place until, among other things, the ISA approves robust exploitation regulations based on sufficient scientific knowledge to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment. Drafts of those regulations are now under consideration by the ISA.

In 2017, The Pew Charitable Trusts assembled the Code Project, an international collection of scientists, regulatory specialists, and legal scholars, to review each installment of the ISA’s draft regulations and relevant subsidiary instruments. More than 20 specialists from across the globe analyze the proposed rules and provide expert feedback via reports issued to the ISA and its member governments. Below is a compilation of all our work on the regulations so far, including reports from the Code Project.