Mining Minister peddling ignorant misinformation about biodiversity and experimental seabed mining

Underwater life in the McMurdo Sound

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.


Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

5 responses to “Mining Minister peddling ignorant misinformation about biodiversity and experimental seabed mining

  1. jimmy apo

    We need to study examples of seabed mining elsewhere in the world to safely assume that it will work in PNG without serious threats to the marine ecosystems.

    PNG is being used as case study or experiment by other countries as to its economic and environmental feasibility of sea bed mining.

    The Government need to put out the Environmental plan and an independent assessment of this plan to be made available for people to consume and approve or otherwise.

  2. Terry Griffiths

    It is best to be silent and have people think you are ignorent rather than open your mouth and prove it for sure

    • Apo Alekano

      The poor Minister is not a coastal man, but he seems to be fed through a hose by those supporting seabed mining with rubbish to perpetrate an environmental disaster. I think he needs to take basic science courses to upgrade his knowledge on the sea and environment, just to be on the safe side. He is making a fool of himself to mislead the public on how much he knows about the sea and the environment.

  3. Wilson Tamani

    Nautilus Minerals acquires DSM exploratory permits from the so called International Seabed Authority who operates out of a shady little office in Jamaica. Who gave this un-elected organisation rights over our Pacific Seabed resources? Who takes responsibility for environmental damages in the oceans? Unlike on shore mining..the negative effects of DSM will also affect creatures and humans alike who live inside and far beyond the proposed mining zones. DSM is untested and the whole project in the Pacific is being rushed by colluding business interests instead of the people it will affect. Lets fight to get rid of this nonsense.

  4. So did her bribe his way to Parliament? only his kind had voted him in.

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