News, views and features from the front lines of conservation

© Kyle Obermann

‘Disaster’ deferred: Deep-sea mining talks postponed

By Max Marcovitch

August 1, 2023
After intense negotiations, discussions on commercial deep-sea mining have been postponed — at least for now. Environmentalists view the decision as a hopeful step toward protecting fragile marine ecosystems.
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Why a new treaty to protect the high seas is a ‘game-changer’

By Vanessa Bauza

March 10, 2023
Roughly two-thirds of the world’s oceans lie beyond national boundaries in an area known as the “high seas” — yet only about 1 percent of that largely unexplored expanse has been protected. Now, nearly 200 countries have agreed on the first-ever United Nations treaty to protect the high seas.
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A diverse, dense coral community was present throughout the dive at Debussy Seamount.
© NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

News spotlight: Sea creatures could harbor the next generation of medications, but are they at risk?

By Vanessa Bauza

September 12, 2022
In case you missed it: Scientists are sourcing new, lifesaving medications from the sea. But deep-sea mining explorations could risk critical marine ecosystems before their potential is understood.
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© Conservation International/Edgardo Ochoa

Deep-sea coral reef could hold climate clues: 3 stories you may have missed

By Kiley Price

January 24, 2022
In case you missed it: A deep-sea discovery is giving scientists hope for the future of coral reefs, a natural disaster in Tonga reveals the inequities of climate change and seed-eating animals are migrating to new ecosystems.
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© NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

Newly discovered coral species face uncertainty in Pacific’s depths

By Kiley Price

October 29, 2020
A team of researchers recently discovered three new species of black coral in the depths of the North Pacific — but deep-sea mining could threaten them.
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