Central Dredging Association

Understanding dredging

CEDA deep sea mining information portal goes live

The online source of high-level information on the potential environmental impacts of deep sea mining will provide a baseline for future projects


After years of exploitation, the availability of terrestrial mineral and metal supplies is under tremendous pressure as land-based deposits dwindle. As the volume and quality of land based resources declines, the interest and focus of the extractive industry is slowly shifting offshore, and deep sea mining of marine resources is being considered as a commercially viable alternative.DSM - textbox

The CEDA Environmental Commission (CEC) is responsible for developing and implementing the environmental policy of CEDA. Due to the increasing level of interest in deep sea mining, from industry and international organisations, the CEC has established an accessible, online source of high-level information on the potential environmental impacts of deep sea mining. It will aim to provide a baseline for future projects.
Among other material, the online information portal contains a high level assessment of potential environmental impacts and suggested mitigation measures. This assessment assumes certain parameters to ensure that it could be used as widely as possible.

DSM - Impacts

The online portal includes an interactive graphic of potential deep sea mining impacts

Online content

The Information Portal is divided into the following sections:
Introduction: Brief overview of deep sea mining.
CEDA involvement: Outline of CEDA’s links to the deep sea mining industry and how CEDA members are involved.
DSM legal framework: Summary of the key regulatory instruments, and legal frameworks, that deep sea mining operators are required to follow.
Environmental management strategy: Guidance from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on the use of environmental impact assessments. The section contains details of the outputs from recent workshops on environmental management strategies.
DSM operations: Overview of the typical equipment used in DSM operations. 
DSM operational impacts infographic: Interactive online graphic providing information on the potential environmental impacts associated with DSM. The graphic is also available to download.
Current research and future innovations: Brief summary of the ongoing and available research programmes, industry bodies and research organisations investigating DSM possibilities.

Downloadable resources

The following documents can be downloaded from the new website:

  • A high-level summary of the economic drivers and existing legal framework (as based on the International Seabed Authority (ISA) guidelines) related to deep sea mining. 
  • A detailed assessment of the anticipated impacts resulting from DSM operations. The assessment also includes possible mitigation measures that could be considered by project operators.
  • An interactive diagram that provides a graphical illustration of the detailed assessment document. Each environmental aspect can be selected, and this will then describe the potential impacts and suggest appropriate mitigation measures. The graphic can also be saved as an interactive PDF for offline use.
  • Two reports from the ISA on how the current regulatory framework is developing, and the proceedings of an ISA workshop on the management of environmental risks

The online information portal can be accessed herehttps://www.dredging.org/resources/ceda-publications-online/deep-sea-mining-information-portal