Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Mining, Johnson Tuke, has been peddling some ignorant misinformation in his attempts to defend experimental seabed mining.
The Minister has claimed no life exists at 1600m under the ocean where Nautilus Minerals hopes to strip mine the seabed. That is completely untrue and irresponsible according to scientists like Cindy Dover, a professor of biological oceanography at Duke University:
“We have learned that the deep sea is as exquisitely diverse as any bit of shallow marine or terrestrial environment”.
Indeed, dozens of new species are routinely discovered during forays to the bottom of the ocean, even at depths twice as deep as the proposed Nautilus mining operation.
This all completely contradicts the Minister’s ignorant claim that:
“There is a certain dark area (in the seabed to be mined) where it is out of photosynthesis. They say there is no life beyond that point.”
To pour further scorn on Minister Tuke’s school boy error, scientists also say that the deep sea is vitally important not just for the biodiversity it contains, it also plays a “critical role in the functioning and buffering of planetary systems” and is “an area we know is very important to society.”
The Minister should apologise for misleading the nation and take a science lesson or do some basic research before he opens his mouth to speak again about experimental seabed mining.