Caring about the future

DEEP REST -Conservation and restoration of deep-sea ecosystems in the context of deep-sea mining
Coordinator - Ana Hilário
CESAM Responsible researcher - Ana Hilário
Programme - BiodivRestore Transnational Cofund Call 2020-2021
Execution dates - 2022-04-01 - 2025-04-01 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Total Funding - 49957 €
Proponent Institution - IFREMER, France
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Netherlands
Ghent University, Belgium
Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Germany
Instituto do Mar, Portugal
University of Algarve, Portugal
Helmholtz centre for Ocean Research, Germany
Brest University, France
National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Senckenberg Nature Research Society, Germany
University of Sevilla, Spain
University centre in Svalbard, Sweden
Sorbonne University/ CNRS, France
University of Bergen, Sweden

Project Description
DEEP REST will investigate two remarkable deep-sea ecosystems namely polymetallic nodule fields and hydrothermal vents, including their extended peripheries. Four major areas will be investigated: the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) and the DISCOL Experimental Area (DEA) in the Pacific Ocean for nodule fields and the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (nMAR), and the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) for active and inactive hydrothermal vents. These remote ecosystems are at risk of exploitation of their associated strategic metal resources, i.e. polymetallic nodules (PMN) and seafloor massive sulfides (SMS). Information on how to mitigate the impacts of future mining activities are of utmost importance. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is currently drafting the mining code that will regulate mining operations in the Area and is working on the development of Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs). Moreover, at national level, several European countries have initiated a process that may lead to exploration of mineral resources in their jurisdiction. The elaboration of strategies to use the oceans in a sustainable manner is fundamental as proclaimed in the “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development (2021-2030)” and the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration” launched by the UN as well as in Mission Starfish 2030 of the EU. However, questions about the impacts of mining and resilience of deep-sea communities to anthropogenic activities are still pending. DEEP REST will enhance fundamental knowledge on species and functional diversity and their interconnections to develop effective environmental management plans and regulations to protect unique and vulnerable marine habitats. We will evaluate the effectiveness of passive and innovative active restoration approaches on the recovery of ecosystem biodiversity and assess how these actions could contribute to maintaining ecosystem functions and services. A crucial and yet missing multi-dimensional analysis of alternative conservation strategies will be conducted, including an evaluation of ecosystem services under different institutional regimes. A major objective of this project is to contribute to European and international environmental policies. Therefore, we propose to integrate data from past and present studies so that scientific findings can be used to recommend concrete conservation and/or restoration actions that will also be applicable to other areas. An original outreach and awareness strategy will be developed about the governance and issues surrounding deep-sea resources including policy briefs and a theater play.

Project webpage

CESAM members on this project
Ana Hilário
Teresa Amaro

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020


Esta página será descontinuada em breve, não sendo atualizada. Na nova página do CESAM poderá aceder a conteúdo mais atual.

This page will be discontinued soon and is outdated. You can access updated contents on the new CESAM webpage.