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Int'l - India deepens quest for seabed minerals

The Indian government has recently approved the proposal of Ministry of Earth Sciences for a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’, with a view to explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

The Indian government has recently approved the proposal of Ministry of Earth Sciences for a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’, with a view to explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea, which is at a depth of 200 metres below the ocean and covers about 65 per cent of the earth’s surface.

The government’s official statement highlights that oceans, which cover 70% of the globe, remain a key part of our life. About 95% of the deep ocean remains unexplored. For India, with its three sides surrounded by the oceans and around 30% of the country’s population living in coastal areas, ocean is a major economic factor supporting fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, livelihoods and blue trade. Oceans are also storehouse of food, energy, minerals, medicines, modulator of weather and climate and underpin life on Earth.

Considering importance of the oceans on sustainability, the United Nations (UN) has declared the decade, 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. India has a unique maritime position. Its 7517 km long coastline is home to nine coastal states and 1382 islands. The Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 enunciated in February 2019 highlighted the Blue Economy as one of the ten core dimensions of growth. The Blue Economy stands for the economic opportunities that are related to marine ecosystems and oceans.

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