NIWA was contracted by the Pacific Community (SPC) to undertake a study and prepare a report that identifies and assesses the impacts of deep‐sea mining on existing and potential fisheries in the Pacific islands region, with particular emphasis on the 15 Pacific ACP States which are a part of the SPC European Union EDF 10 Regional Deep Sea Minerals Project. This report was prepared by the NIWA in response to the Pacific Community (SPC) call for proposals to conduct an independent assessment of the potential impacts of Deep Seabed Minerals Mining on Pacific island fisheries.


UNEP/GRID-Arendal was contracted to conduct a state of knowledge assessment of the Pacific marine minerals based on previous marine scientific studies and exploration. A technical Steering Committee, comprising a number of world renowned experts as well as representatives of the SPC-EU DSM Project and key stakeholders in the region, was established to guide and support this Project deliverable under the SPC-UNEP/GRID-Arendal partnership.
The SPC-UNEP GRID/Arendal Reports are available below:



The Pacific- ACP States Regional Environmental Management Framework for Deep Sea Minerals Exploration and Exploitation is produced and published by the Deep Sea Minerals Project. It contains an overview of deep sea mineral deposit environments and potential environmental impacts of deep sea mining projects, as well as management and mitigation strategies, including an environmental impact assessment report template. 

The Pacific-ACP States Regional Financial Framework for Deep Sea Minerals Exploration and Exploitation is produced in collaboration with the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC). The Framework provides an overview of key issues in the financial management of revenues and wealth associated with the potential development of deep sea minerals in the region.

The Pacific-ACP States Regional Scientific Research Guidelines for Deep Sea Minerals is produced in collaboration with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) of New Zealand.The framework contains scientific and regulatory guidelines for establishing national guidelines and regulations for marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration activities relating to deep sea minerals research.The scientific guidelines include detailed information on current “best practice” research techniques, covering aspects of survey design, sampling gear, and the collection and processing of samples and data. These have been designed to help not just the Pacific ACP states, but also researchers and contractors working in other national as well as international waters. 

 A report on “An Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Mining Deep-sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region.” This Cost-Benefit Analysis was conducted independently by CARDNO and commissioned by the DSM Project. Since mining has yet to occur anywhere in the world, the analysis is based on realistic yet hypothetical mining scenarios developed for three mineral deposits thought to have a high potential for economic viability:
 Seafloor-massive Sulphide (SMS) Deposits in Papua New Guinea (PNG),
 Polymetallic Manganese Nodules (MN) in the Cook Islands, and
 Ferromanganese Cobalt-rich Crusts (CRC) in the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).


 A Report which represents the Outcomes of the Workshop held by the ISA in collaboration with the Goverment of Fiji and the SOPAC Division of SPC via the DSM Project. The report which was jointly compiled by both the ISA and the SPC contains a EIA template developed for deep sea minerals activities in the international seabed, also known as "the Area" is available here :  Environmental Management Needs for Exploration and Exploitation of Deep Sea Minerals [ISA Technical Study 10] 


 The DSM Project has produced and published this legal framework document (called the 'RLRF' for short), designed to assist Pacific Island States in their development of national policy and law for DSM. The RLRF - a world-first - was developed over a 6-monthly consultation period and the list of contributors can be found in its Annex. It has been endorsed by all 15 Project member countries, and was launched by the Director General of SPC and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands at the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in 2012. Hard copies of the RLRF are also available upon request to [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] download: Regional Legislative and Regulatory Framework



 The DSM Project shares with the world the success of the Project's work that is available at Achievements Brochure


The DSM Project detailed Four Year Workplan:

DSM Project Progress and Annual Reports:
DSM Project 2nd Six Monthly Progress Report October 2012
DSM Project Annual Report January - December 2011