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The Slurry of Seafloor Sediment

The title ‘Slurry of Seafloor Sediment' speaks to slurping-up of precious, million-year-old polymetallic nodules from the deep sea. When the nodules are collected near the ocean surface the sediment waste will be discharged back into the sea, drifting for miles, with fears of major environmental impact to the ocean columns. My aim is for this painting to help raise awareness about the risk of exploiting this last frontier.

I learned about this concept, the ‘Common Heritage of Mankind’ in a Speak up for Blue podcast with guest speaker Dr. Diva Amon. In summary, no one person or country has jurisdiction over an area (be it seafloor or outer space) and the resources extracted in this area should be arranged to benefit humankind as a whole, including all future generations to come. Currently, the International Seabed Authority has granted 16 open contracts for mining investors in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, located in the Northern Pacific. However, researchers are trying to understand the full implications of extraction in this area. We have an imperative need for international governing bodies to determine what level of impact is acceptable to society.

’Slurry of Seafloor Sediment (Common Heritage of Humankind)’, 2019

35x20” acrylic and pastel on canvas

Invited to Call + Response Juried Exhibition by Healoha Johnston Kahilu Gallery, Kamuela Hawai'i March 13 - Apr 19, 2020 Further Resources: Deep Sea Conservation Coalition Mining the deep sea: the true cost to the planet | The Economist

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