Tribal Villagers Express Concern About Nautilus Mining

Readers probably know by now I am skeptical of Nautilus Mining’s commitment to the conservation of the deep ocean. They are currently poised to begin large-scale mining efforts with a bus-sized ROV off extinct hydrothermal vent chimneys off Papua New Guinea. This week 2000 tribe members from Bagabag Island urged the government to put end to exploration and mining on the seabed in a paid advertisement in the national paper. In the piece they voiced

their frustrations and absolute disgust over the manner in which the provincial and national governments have issued license to Nautilus Minerals Corporation Ltd to conduct deep sea mining activities near Bagabag Island and in the surrounding outer islands in the province…Mr. Daing and Rev. Kinim said Nautilus has no experience in sea bed mining and therefore do not want to see their ocean as a training ground for this company.

Sea Turtle Restoration Project has the full story and hosts the advertisement as a pdf.

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

One comment on “Tribal Villagers Express Concern About Nautilus Mining
  1. Mautilus currently is licensed to do seabed exploration. It’s findings can lead into seeking license from the PNG government to do seabed mining. It argues that it is doing its activities well away from traditional fishing grounds and has low environmental impact. We strongly rebut this and urge Nautilus to fund an independent consultant(s) to do a risk assessment of the Bismark Seas in Papua New Guinea, prior, during and after its exploration activities. We have had enough learned experiences from irreparrable environmental, social, physical,and other related damages caused through land based mines in PNG and do not want this to be another playground for mining companies to experiment their mining methodologies for their own profit.

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