The deep sea, defined as water and seafloor below 200 meters, is the largest biome on Earth accounting for 92% of the global ocean.


This species-rich biome harbours numerous ecosystems including vast abyssal plains, mountain chains and canyons as well as cold-water corals, sponge grounds, hot vents and cold seeps. However, the so far relatively “pristine” deep sea is at potential risk of biodiversity and ecosystem function loss due to anthropogenic activities, including deep-sea mining. 

DEEP REST aim at developing a novel approach to improve our capacities for science-based spatial planning and management in two ecosystems threatened by deep-sea mining. It directly addresses the concerns of policy-makers in a moment when seabed mining and its associated regulations are rapidly developing from exploration to exploitation.

Project overview

DEEP REST aim at developing a novel approach to improve our capacities for science-based spatial planning and management in two ecosystems threatened by deep-sea mining.

Ecosystem studied

The project will focus on nodule fields of the Pacific Ocean as well as hydrothermal vent fields in the Atlantic  and Arctic Oceans.


The DEEP REST consortium is composed of 15 partners

Advisory board

An Advisory Board (AB) of established scientists, NGOs, mining industries, and regulators/authorities will be constituted at the beginning of the project.


This research was funded through the 2020-2021 Biodiversa and Water JPI joint call for research projects, under the BiodivRestore ERA-NET Cofund (GA N°101003777), with the EU and the following funding organisations : Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-21-BIRE-0003), France, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), Netherlands, Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Belgium, German Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF) through VDI/VDE-IT, Germany, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT), Portugal-Azores and State Research Agency (AEI), Spain. Three other entities also contribute to the project : University Center in Svalbard (UNIS), Norway, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France, University of Bergen (UiB), Norway.

Study areas

The study areas will cover the Pacific ocean (Clarion-Clipperton Zone, DISCOL Experimental Area), the northern Mid-Atlantic and Arctic ridges.


The project is organized in six interrelated work packages.

Project management

WP1 will ensure the project management and dissemination/communication strategy of DEEP REST. 

Stakeholders involved

A large number of stakeholders acting at both national international scales who represent a broad spectrum of end-users will be engaged on the project.