New species can reflect the effects of mining in the deep sea

Mining in the ocean constitutes a danger for animals deep down on the bottom of the ocean. The Plenaster craigi sponge has proven to be the most common animal on seabeds. It lives in a habitat where nodules predominate. Nodules are balls of metal that have been built up over millions of years and that are found in most of the world’s oceans at depths of over 4,000 metres.

Because the nodules are deposits that are picked up in deep sea mining operations, Plenaster craigi is likely to disappear entirely from the parts of the seabed that are exploited, according to a new study in which researchers from the University of Gothenburg are participating.

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