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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: MIDAS Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation

Currently Active: 

A European Union funded FP7 project of 32 partners which seeks to quantify the impacts of the imminent exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources throughout the world.

MIDAS will assess the potential effects of these deep sea mining impacts on ecosysterms, including the possible loss of species and ecosystem functions, and propose targets for their protection, monitoring and restoration. MIDAS partners include key scientific institutions in Europe, social scientists and industry partners. The latter include companies that 1) manufacture offshore heavy duty technologies, 2) conduct deep-sea operations, 3) specialise in providing workable solutions to environmental issues and 4) a major European offshore survey company, plus a range of SMEs. Together we will build the knowledge base for sound environmental policies and a competitive European industry, including the development of innovative environmental monitoring technologies.


1. To identify the scale of possible impacts from exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources;
2. To assess the potential impacts, and their duration, on deep-sea ecosystems associated with different types of resource extraction activities;
3. To develop workable solutions and best practice codes for environmentally sound and socially acceptable commercial activities;
4. To develop cost-effective technologies for monitoring the impacts of mineral exploitation and the subsequent recovery of ecosystems;
5. To work with policy makers in the European and international arenas to enshrine best practice in international and national regulations and overarching legal frameworks.

Key Contacts

Dr Chris Hauton

Related research groups

Marine Biology and Ecology
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