Publication Date: 29 October, 2014
The Deep Sea: From Exploration to Exploitation
Dr Cindy Van Dover, Harvey W Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation of the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University and Chair of the Division and Director of the Duke Marine Laboratory, presented the Institute's public lecture series on October 15 in the RIA with a talk entitled: The Deep Sea: From Exploration to Exploitation.
Though the deep sea is the largest biosphere on our planet, few people think about this wilderness from one day to the next. Yet the history of deep-ocean exploration is an exciting one, and includes discoveries of strange environments -- black smokers, lava ponds, and brine pools — and even stranger animals, like the yeti crab, swarms of blind shrimp, and thickets of giant tubeworms. With access and discovery come the desire to exploit the resources of the deep sea: oil and gas, minerals, genetic resources. The nascent discipline of deep-sea environmental management is racing to keep pace with emergent deep-sea extractive industries. The next century promises to be a century of deep-ocean industrialization.