Eastern Pacific Ocean  – Greenpeace International activists yesterday began an ongoing peaceful action against a ship doing deep sea mining exploration for The Metals Company (TMC), to denounce the imminent threat that this industry poses to the world’s oceans. Under pouring rain and on board kayaks launched from Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise, they paddled and protested around MV COCO[1], a specialised offshore drilling vessel currently collecting data for TMC to file a mining permit. Activists from Mexico, Argentina, Norway, South Korea, Poland and the UK rotated to carry out a non-stop paddling activity that disrupted TMC’s plans from daybreak to sunset. They unfolded banners with the message “Stop Deep Sea Mining”.

“Greenpeace International has followed this reckless industry to the area at the heart of the deep sea mining debate, taking peaceful action to defend these precious ecosystems. The Metals Company is determined to ignore science, good sense and global public opposition to mine in the world’s last untouched frontier, but we are here to call out this dangerous industry and let them know that deep sea mining won’t start on our watch”, said Greenpeace International Stop Deep Sea Mining campaigner Louisa Casson, aboard the Arctic Sunrise.

The action, that will continue in the coming days, is taking place in the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) — an area between Mexico and Hawaii — where the deep sea mining industry is conducting one of the final expeditions before filing the first ever application to commercially exploit the international seabed, despite growing political opposition. In keeping with Greenpeace practice, this protest was conducted in a safe, peaceful and controlled manner by trained activists. The activists repeatedly informed the captain of their peaceful intentions prior to beginning the protest and maintained contact throughout. The Arctic Sunrise will remain on site to protest and bear witness to the industry’s movements.

In June 2021, TMC made use of a legal loophole in international law to try and force Governments’ hands to allow deep sea mining to begin, despite unresolved negotiations at the International Seabed Authority (ISA). After governments did not give deep sea mining the greenlight in July, TMC announced that they will submit a deep sea mining commercial application next year, even in the absence of any regulations and despite there are now 24 countries calling for a moratorium, with Mexico joining the list on Tuesday.

“The Metals Company has tried to subvert a democratic process and push countries into accepting commercial-scale mining before sufficient science is available to make an informed decision. The international seabed and the high seas are common heritage of humankind and it should not be in the purview of companies aimed at enriching a few to destroy marine ecosystems”, said Alex Rogers, professor of biology at Oxford University and Science Director at Ocean Census.


Photos and Videos can be accessed from the Greenpeace Media Library.


[1] MV COCO, equipped with two Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), arrived in the NORI-D licence area on the 16th of November, where TMC has carried out several expeditions since the ISA granted NORI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMC sponsored by the small Pacific Island of Nauru, an exploration contract in 2011. It is one of the three sites in the Pacific Ocean controlled by Canadian-registered The Metals Company. TMC carried out the first deep sea mining test done since the 1970s in this area and returned to port a year ago after extracting 4,500 tonnes of polymetallic nodules.


Sol Gosetti, Media Coordinator for the Stop Deep Sea Mining campaign, Greenpeace International: [email protected], +44 (0) 7807352020, WhatsApp +44 (0) 7380845754

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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