Marine

Cook Islands Seabed Minerals – the booklet

Cook Islands Seabed Minerals – the booklet

Gerald McCormack, Natural Heritage Trust
Booklet published 2016. Available here 28 April 2021

An oblique view of the seabed across the South Penrhyn Basin to the Manihiki Plateau.

The Trust’s booklet “Cook Islands Seabed Minerals – a precautionary approach to mining” was published in 2016 after three years of research.

The booklet provides baseline information on the environment and the possible impacts of a typical nodule mining scenario. The information should enable everyone to develop their own views and questions to participate in discussions.  And, in particular, to participate in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that will decide if mining can occur or not.

You can open it to read and download here:  The Trust’s Booklet

Continue reading →

Posted by Gerald in Deep Seabed Mining, Marine, 0 comments
Anonymous TIS criticism misguided

Anonymous TIS criticism misguided

Gerald McCormack, Natural Heritage Trust
First published CINews (24 Feb. 2021), updated.

An illustration comparing the area destroyed under the scenario of a 6-mine total industry, compared to the nodule-rich habitat at two different densities of nodules.

The following article answers Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) criticisms (CI News 20 February) of the author’s article on the possible impacts of seabed mining on nodule-associated benthic megafauna (CI News 11 February). The original article is here: https://cinature.org/2021/02/17/nodule-mining-impact-on-benthic-megafauna/

TIS calls for independent research and the information I quoted on the megafauna in the Central South Penrhyn Basin (SPB) was exactly that. The Japanese scientists were independent researchers. Although their megafauna and macrofauna surveys were very limited, it was fortunate they were focused on the Central Area of the SPB, which has the highest concentration of nodules and is where mining, if it occurs, will probably be focused. As a result, their survey of “0.000001% of our EEZ” is both relevant and useful. Continue reading →

Posted by Gerald in Deep Seabed Mining, Marine, 0 comments
Nodule mining impact on benthic megafauna

Nodule mining impact on benthic megafauna

Gerald McCormack, Natural Heritage Trust
First published CI News 11 Feb. 2021, last update 23 Mar. 2021.

Examples of sessile and slow-moving benthic megafauna in the South Penrhyn Basin (SPB).

This article discusses the likely impact of nodule mining on the megafauna associated with nodules in the South Penrhyn Basin (SPB), from Penrhyn southward to Aitutaki and Palmerston. This impact was not among those discussed in the Trust’s 2016 booklet: “Cook Islands Seabed Minerals – a precautionary approach to mining”.

Benthic megafauna is recorded by still photography and video because these animals are larger than four centimetres and they are all visible on or above the seabed. Continue reading →

Posted by Gerald in Animals, Deep Seabed Mining, Marine, 1 comment