Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), Lagos Hub made the call at its stakeholders’ Policy Dialogue event on Deep Seabed mining, held at the Federal Department of Fisheries, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Addressing the impact of continuous mining in the water space in Nigeria, the guest speaker and teacher at the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University, Dr. Isa Elegbede pointed the need for marine environment preservation and protection while seeking exploitation of mineral resources within the Seabed off.
According to him, Seabed Mining in Nigeria requires attention, having gathered from reports outside the country that International Seabed Authority(ISA) has begun to award contracts to some companies for exploration, but the activities needs to be put on hold in Nigeria until necessary resources data and hydro graphic survey are conducted in Nigeria’s water space to avoid seabed ecosystem damage.
“It’s mining and there are negative effects because it requires vessel exploiting resources from the water system and in the process causing socio and biological disorder of organisms, death, seafood contamination as well as extinction of the organisms” he noted
Dr. Elegbede advised that industries protect the ocean damage by looking into alternative means in recycling and reusing of materials from terrestrial environment. He also appealed to Nigeria government for guideline on the effective protection of the marine environment while Policies and implementation measures for the responsible production and use of metals, be a transformation to a resource-efficient circular economy.
Deep-seabed mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits and metals from the deep seabed-the ocean below 200m but its continuous engagement is considered as a big threat to ocean and human livelihood through food insecurity.
According to Adenike Adeiga, the Lagos Hub lead, Sustainable Ocean Alliance ( SOA) Lagos, the goal is to have minimum of 10 years moratorium to suspend activities of mining until a lot of surveys , ocean ecosystem mapping and evaluation are carried out first in line with the UN Decade of Ocean Science. Key actors from environment, fishery, and climate change space such as Adedoyin Lasisi, Olumide Idowu, Olusola adeoye were part of the panel session who advocated the moratorium.