BfN Schriften 79 - Deep Sea Genetic Resources in the Context of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
It is only in the last few decades that the importance of the enormous area of open ocean beyond the 200 mile limit has been recognised, not only due to its role in the regulation of global climate but also because of its natural resources. In the deep-sea an even greater amount of species may be found than in all the other environments of the Earth together.
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
The unsuspected high diversity of the deep-sea floor2 defeated the theory of a desert-like environment. This was supported by the overwhelming wealth of different habitats like seamounts, deep-sea trenches, reef-forming corals, submarine canyons, cold seeps and pockmarks. Especially the discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and their unique biological commu-nities was one of the most important findings in biological science in the latter half of the 20th century. This text therefore will focus on these deep-sea habitats. But some suggestions may be valuable for other habitats as well.