Norwegian fishing representatives and environmental NGOs have objected to government aims to open up mining operation on the seabed

Norwegian fishing and environmental NGOs have objected to government aims to open up mining operation on the seabed. Photo: Henning Flusund

Norwegian fishing representatives and environmental NGOs have accused the Norwegian government of defying environmental advice after announcing that it aims to open up mining operation on the seabed in the world’s most vulnerable sea area, the Arctic Ocean.

In a press release issued yesterday, Thursday 27 October, the group says that the government is doing this despite a clear message from scientists and that there is a lack of knowledge about the consequences for nature and fisheries.

Seabed mining is also highly controversial internationally. Both the UN Environment Programme, the World Economic Forum and the Marine Panel have concluded that far more knowledge is needed before we can assess the consequences of mining in our deepest sea areas. 

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Several large commercial players have objected to this type of mining and have committed themselves not to use or finance such mining until we have knowledge that proves that such activity is not harmful to nature.

“These are businesses such as the battery factory Northvolt, Google, BMW, Philips, Samsung SDI, Volvo, Volkswagen, Renault group and Rivian and banks such as Natwest, Tridos Bank and Lloyds banking group and the European Investment Bank,” says the group.

“In addition, politicians from all over the world have backed the demand for a global moratorium (temporary ban).

“In spite of all this, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Thursday presented an impact assessment for mining on the seabed where they aim to open all or part of the area they have investigated for the opening of mining.

“A united environmental movement and the fisheries organizations say clearly – we know far too little about the consequences of mining on the seabed, and we risk destroying the unique nature of the sea with major consequences for the climate, nature, fisheries and other marine industries. We cannot take that risk.

norwegian government seabed mining arctic sea

The area of the Arctic Sea which the Norwegian government aims to target for seabed mining. Glossary:

Foreslátt ápningsomráde – Suggested opening areas

Utredningsomráde – Research area

Kontineentals yttergrense/avtalt avgrensningslinje – Continental outer border/agreed demarcation line

Territorialgrense 12nm – Territorial limit 12 nm

“Norway has undertaken to manage our natural assets based on available knowledge and according to the precautionary principle. An opening for mining on the seabed is completely contrary to this.”

Making the announcement of the opening mining activities on the seabed, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said:

“Extraction of seabed minerals can become a new and important industry for Norway and at the same time contribute to securing the supply of important metals in the future.”

Organisations behind the press release:
  • Nature and Youth
  • The Norwegian Nature Conservancy
  • World Saving Hustle
  • Bellona
  • Greenpeace
  • Zero
  • The future in our hands
  • The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association
  • Fiskebåt (Fishing boat)
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Source: Press Release

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Norwegian fishing and eNGOs object to government plans for seabed mining

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