The ongoing wonder of hagfish, deep-sea mining’s race to the bottom, saving whales with lineless lobster traps, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: January 21, 2019

Logo for Monday Morning Salvage.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

It’s month two of the longest shutdown in US history and there’s only one party who won’t allow a vote to reopen the government proceed. Have you called you senator today?

And while I have your attention, FYI:

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)3-D Printing the Ulitmate Deep-Sea Christmas Tree

Read More
Cut rock samples from the Rio Grande Rise show Fe-Mn crusts (black and gray) growing on various types of iron-rich substrate rocks (pale to dark brown). Photo credit: Kira Mizell, USGS.

A lost continent, rich in cobalt crusts, could create a challenging precedent for mineral extraction in the high seas.

[This article originally appeared yesterday in the Deep-sea Mining Observer. ~Ed.]

The Rio Grande Rise is an almost completely unstudied, geologically intriguing, ecologically mysterious, potential lost continent in the deep south Atlantic. And it also hosts dense cobalt-rich crusts.

The Rio Grande Rise is a region of deep-ocean seamounts roughly the area of Iceland in the southwestern Atlantic. It lies west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge off the coast of South America and near Brazil’s island territories. As the largest oceanic feature on the South American plate, it straddles two microplates. And yet, like much of the southern Atlantic deep sea, it is relatively under sampled.

Almost nothing is known about the ecology or biodiversity of the Rio Grande Rise.

Read More

Doodles from the deep sea, a mining company founders, finding lost warships, rogue scientists, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: December 24, 2018

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Illustrations by Jackie Roche.
Read More

Chesapeake Requiem, the Black Friday for Climate Change, whale earwax, killing the GRE, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: November 26, 2018

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

  • Friend of the blog and submarine legend Erika Bergman is leading an expedition to Belize’s Blue Hole! Follow along as she maps this unique ocean feature: Belize Blue Hole 2018. Some dudes are tagging along, too.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

The Gam (conversations from the ocean-podcasting world)

  • Speak Up for the Blue on art and the ocean.

Read More

Apple’s war on repair, mining the deep sea, reflecting on the mid-terms, (not) repelling sharks, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: November 12, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

  • Take a moment. Breathe. Then get back to work.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Read More

I want you to have amazing adventures with underwater robots, protecting the oceans like national parks, songs of a ice and warming, cannibals, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: October 22, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Read More

How goats got the bends, a new ship for VIMS, a new deep-sea submersible for all of us, our looming destruction, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: October 15, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Bends in the foreleg of a goat after experiments performed by physiologist John S. Haldane, published in the Journal of Hygiene Vol. 8, 1908.

Bends in the foreleg of a goat after experiments performed by physiologist John S. Haldane, published in the Journal of Hygiene Vol. 8, 1908.

Submersible. Photo courtesy Discovery.

Photo courtesy Discovery.

Read More

SeaWorld versus OSHA versus Brett Kavanaugh, sea lions and sucker punches, this dumpster whale is all of us, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: October 1, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Read More

High octopuses don’t love you back, sextants in space, protect our ocean monuments, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: September 24, 2018

Logo for Monday Morning Salvage.

Foghorn (a call to action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Gulper Eels are amazing. Amazing.

There are approximately 30 vaquitas left in the world Illustration: Mona Chalabi

There are approximately 30 vaquitas left in the world
Illustration: Mona Chalabi

  • There are sextants on the International Space Station and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Read More

The rise of low-cost ROVs and community submersibles

The following appeared this Monday on the DSM Observer, the only trade journal committed to covering all aspects of the emerging deep-sea mining industry. Though written for the deep-sea mining community, the subject is broadly relevant to a host of ocean industries, so we reprint it below. 


The submarine Noctiluca cruises across the surface. Photo Courtesy Shanee Stopnitzky.

The submarine Noctiluca cruises across the surface. Photo Courtesy Shanee Stopnitzky.

As a community, we discuss mining, management, and monitoring, as well as the regulations that shape them, in terms of governments, major corporations, and research institutions. The deep-sea mining community is small and the complexities of working at abyssal depths engenders collaboration, cooperation, and, in the case of exploitation, compromise. While there are many stakeholders potentially affected by deep-sea mining, only a small proportion of them will ever directly engage with the deep seafloor.

A few extremely wealthy individuals have access to private submersibles and ROVs and have on occasion made them available for research and exploration, but they are the exception. The tools necessary to reach the depths of a hydrothermal vent or polymetallic nodule field are simply too expensive.

That may soon change.

Read More