• Below 200 meters – little or no light. • Depth at which light begins to dwindle, typically around 200 meters (656 feet).
• Extreme conditions:
Temperature reduces to 4°Celsius – constantly stays near freezing.
Pressure – ranges from 40 to over 110 times the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere.
• Creatures exist microorganisms in hydrothermal vents, deep sea corals, fish, and other bizarre creatures.
• Harsh conditions – difficult to explore. • 95% of the ocean is unexplored and unutilised. • Countries exploring the deep ocean – China,France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.
• Deep ocean mission of India – in line with, GoI’s Vision of New India by 2030.
Blue Economy – one of core dimensions of growth.
Deep Ocean Mission
• Multi-ministerial multi-disciplinary programme.
• Objective – explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
• Phase-wise implementation for 5 years.
First phase – 2021-2024.
• Estimated cost – Rs. 4077 crores.
• Mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of GoI.
• Nodal implementing Ministry – Ministry of Earth Sciences.
• Six major components:
- Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible.
Development of manned submersible – will carry 3 people to a depth of 6000 m in the ocean + scientific sensors and tools.
Development of Integrated Mining System for mining Polymetallic Nodules from 6000 m depth in the central Indian Ocean.
Future commercial exploitation of minerals in
Blue Economy priority area – ‘exploring and
harnessing of deep sea minerals and energy’.
Polymetallic nodules (PMN)
• Manganese or ferromanganese nodules.
• Potato-shaped, largely porous nodules.
• Found in deep sea – in abundance carpeting the sea
floor of world oceans.
• Metals – manganese, iron, nickel, copper, cobalt,lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium.
Nickel, cobalt, manganese and copper – of economic and strategic importance.
• 15 year contract of India with International Seabed Authority (ISA) in 2002 – for exploration of PMN in CIOB.
Extended 5 more years – 2017-22.
Presently allocated an area of 75,000
sq.km. – located 2000 km away from southern tip.
Estimated polymetallic nodule resource potential – 380 million tonnes.
Nickel – 4.7 million tonnes
Copper – 4.29 million tonnes
Cobalt – 0.55 million tonnes
Manganese – 92.59 million tonnes
2.Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory
Developing observations & models to understand &
provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
Blue Economy priority area – coastal tourism.
3.Technological innovations for exploration and
conservation of deep-sea biodiversity
Bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes.
Studies on sustainable utilization of deep-sea
Blue Economy priority area – Marine Fisheries and allied services.
4. Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
Explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides
mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
Hydrothermal Sulphides or seafloor massive sulphides – only metal-bearing deposits of (current) commercial significance that form
at active plate boundaries – high concentrations of copper, zinc, lead,arsenic, cobalt, silver, gold and other metals.
Blue Economy priority area – deep sea exploration of ocean resources.
5.Energy and freshwater from the Ocean
Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plant.
Blue Economy priority area – off-shore energy development.
6.Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology
Development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering.
Research into industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
Blue Economy priority area – Marine Biology, Blue trade and Blue manufacturing.
Attempts to indigenise technologies by collaborating with leading institutes and
Design, development and fabrication of specialised equipment, ships and setting
up of required infrastructure – will spur the growth of the Indian industry, especially the MSME and Start-ups.
Research vessel for deep ocean exploration to be built in Indian shipyard.
Capacity development in Marine Biology.