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Monday, April 11, 2011

Who Owns The World's Ocean's Minerals?

Hello world, how are you today? Recently, my science teacher told us something interesting about minerals found in the ocean...people/governments are arguing with who should own the lands where these expensive rare minerals are found. Mrs.M sent us a few sites, and we were free to look around at any other source of information as long as we had enough to get to our conclusion. I went to work right away, and found many interesting facts and bits of information I would have never of thought to look up at my own time. While I was taking notes, I found the info so good, new, and amazing that I decided I wanted to share it all with you, my wonderful audience this year. First there are a few notes I took when I visited some sites, and underneath I have my conclusion! You might want to read the notes before you go straight to the conclusion because it might make a little bit more sense for you...If you have any feedback or just want to ask me the URLs to some of the awesome sites where I found all this information, please just leave a comment below! Thank you and enjoy!

Who Owns The World's Oceans Minerals?

 - Rich Mineral Deposits lie on and just beneath the ocean floor
 - Nation have the right to mine near their shores
 - Minerals on ocean floor are open for all nations


 - Mining ocean floor is very expensive
 - Only wealthy nations can afford costs, they think they should keep the minerals mined
 - Developing nations that lack money + technology disagree
 - 157 nations signed Law of Sea treaty
 - The treaty says that the minerals in the ocean belong to everyone
 - Treaty also says mining profits must be shared among all nations
 - Some people think wealthy nations should share technology + any profits they get from mining the ocean floor


 - To prevent conflict over ocean floor they might arrange a compromise
 - Maybe wealthy nations could give part of profit to help developing nations


 - The five ocean's are technically one as they are not divided.
 - Everyone on Earth's surface owns the ocean, yet none of us do
 - It was agreed for centuries that no one owned the world's oceans
 - It says in 'The Freedom of Seas' that coastal countries own up to 12 miles of water from their shore, so it's there part of the ocean
 - All the rest of the ocean is everybody's, including landlocked nations, for trade and commerce


 - Humans have lived on land for more than 195,000 years
 - Same oil and gas that is removed from oceans is now polluting oceans
 - Countries who fish can send the fishing boats anywhere in the ocean
 - End of 1960's almost 400 million tons of oil were removed per year
 - Humans poisoned lives below water's surface with pollution
 - In 1967, United Nations established formal + legal international treaty; first new agreement about oceans in 300 years


 - United Nations spoke up first to the treaty on world's oceans
 - There were some exceptions such as straits that could help everybody were still international waters
 - It was banned to test nuclear weapons in international waters
 - EEZ's = Exclusive Economic Zones
 - These are extensions of a state's rights to resources offshore
 - Extensions can go up to 200 miles from shore
 - Arctic is melting making minerals easier and cheaper to get
 - US, Canada, Greenland, Denmark, Norway and Russia are all trying to get to the Arctic floor


 - Rights to minerals on public lands belong to the sovereign who owns the surface
 - EEZ's are used only if the place around it is open as much as 200 miles without land
 - In most nations, minerals underneath private property goes to the national government, regardless of who owns the surface
 - Property owner can sell mineral rights to another party


 - Some territory with minerals remains unclaimed or in dispute
 - It is possible for Congress to ban offshore oil drilling even under state owned seabed
 - Most nations claim EEZ's which go up to 200 miles from coastline
 - Within their area, nations have the right to exploit minerals buried deep in the seabed
 - The amount of territory outside of any nation is shrinking
 - Mineral deposits in free areas is available to whoever is willing to extract them
 - Governments are free to lease mineral rights to others


Did you know there are minerals spread all around the ocean floor? Now think about who owns them. There are many nations who claim that they should get all of the minerals. The real problem is trying to get to them. The minerals near the shore are not very hard to get there for not very expensive, but deep on the ocean floor it is much harder to reach them and therefore much more expensive. Also, new technologies are needed to get deep down into the sea. Wealthy nations who can provide a fair amount of money and can pay for new technologies seem to think that they should keep all of the minerals that they get. Developing nations do not agree, and the Law of Sea says that the minerals are everybody's property. They think that wealthy nations should share or give part of what they get to developing nations and landlocked nations. What do you think?


Wealthy nations probably have the problem of which inventor might they risk giving some of their money to make a machine that can go deep in the ocean, get the minerals and come back without having everyone injured. They might also, if they are a particularly kind nation, have the problem of who to give some of their found minerals or money to and how much to give to them. However, developing nations have much bigger problems such as how will they find the money to get to the minerals, how much should they spend depending on if it will be a success or not. Landlocked nations have the biggest problem seeing they are not even next to an ocean so unless they are given permission by coastal nations that they can find the minerals working from their own money, they are really in trouble and have only to beg wealthy nations to give them a bit of their profits. To reassure developing countries that they would not be left out, I would tell them that they can give away a little bit of their money to start with and the more minerals they gain the more money they will have to expand their work.


You know how the Arctic is melting slowly because of the global warming, right? Well, since it is easier to get the minerals now that it is mostly liquid, it is cheaper and many countries are trying to get it! Some of these countries include the US, Canada, Greenland, Denmark, Norway and Russia. Since it is cheaper to get to the mineral deposits there, even developing countries can get to it and mine there without loosing to much money, but wealthier countries will probably get there faster because of the new technology they can afford. If you look at the map of arctic, you can see around it are two big countries; The US/America and Russia are the main countries around it, but Greenland is pretty big too. I think that everyone should get the deposits because technically no one owns it.


The Atlantic ocean is like a very large river that has Africa and Europe on one side, and the other side there's the America's. If all of those continents got EEZ's and went up to 200 miles, they still wouldn't own a lot and most of the ocean would be international water. I think it should stay like that because by mining you ruin the environment, so the ocean would mostly be saved.


To me, the Pacific ocean is the largest ocean, so almost all of it is international waters. I am not so sure how much minerals are in that ocean, but since it is so big there might be a lot of mineral deposits in it. Maybe they could mine a little bit more in it, but then restore the natural environment to how it was before.


When I was younger, my friends and I wanted to buy some candy at a small store. I had the most money, there for I could buy more than the others, but there was only a few left. What should we do? Should I buy the candy and share with my friends, or should I keep it for myself? Should i wait until tomorrow when my friends could come back all with the same amount of money? This situation is similar to the one about minerals in the oceans and who should get it! Wealthy countries had the money for the expensive process of extracting the minerals from the ocean, but they are faced with the problem of whether they should be nice and share their profits of minerals/money with the developing countries/landlocked countries. The developing and landlocked countries who won't convince the wealthy country to give them a bit of profits are in trouble. They barely have enough money to take care of the country the way it is, so they would be able to give very little, not enough to get as much profits as you would have to if you wanted to start some sort of business.

As for the land, wealthy and developing countries with an ocean on a side of it have rights to 12 miles into the sea from there shore for free (I think). Then if they want to expand the space, they have to pay money to the law or something and can get up to 200 miles of ocean  with the EEZ's from there shore, as long as there are no countries they would bump in to. Here would also be a problem for developing nations because they need more money to expand their space, even if they have a whole lot of ocean in front of them like the United States.

Finally, I think what I'm trying to say is that developing countries need help, and wealthy countries should provide them with at least a bit of their profits if not a bit of loaner money until they can really give them back the money. For the space/land/sea that they can get, I think that even if a country is wealthy, they should be limited to so much land because first of all it is not fair for the developing countries that still need to catch up, and second of all when mining all those minerals with the machines they might destroy some of the ocean, so more parts of the ocean should be international water so they we be safe and illegal to mine in!

Thank you for joining me with this session of.......'Clare's Amazing, Interesting Science Posts'! I hope you enjoyed and learned a lot because I sure did!


  1. would you be able to provide me with the URL for the site you got this information from?
    Thank you.