Bioprospecting of organisms from the deep sea: scientific and environmental aspects
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Synnes, M. Clean Techn Environ Policy (2007) 9: 53. doi:10.1007/s10098-006-0062-7
- 444 Downloads
Accelerating technological development has made it possible for humans to reach to one of the most remote parts of the Earth, the deepest areas of the sea, also called the Earth’s last frontier. Rare, previously hidden ecosystems with vast biological diversity can be found here. These communities and their inhabitants are starting to feel the pressure of human impact, being regarded as having an enormous potential in the development of new products such as pharmaceuticals, molecular probes, enzymes, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and agrichemicals. However, compared to the bioprospecting activity of these areas, an increasing pressure on deep-sea fisheries is probably an even more serious threat for the deep-sea communities, and a recent publication reports that deep-sea fishes qualify as endangered. Sustainable use of the deep sea and the organisms that inhabit it should thus be aimed for.