Deep Sea Tension: The Kingdom of Tonga and Deep Sea Minerals

  • Teena Brown Pulu


The Kingdom of Tonga was quick off the mark sponsoring deep sea mining companies for exploration licenses to the International Seabed Authority.  On the 11-15 March 2013 a regional workshop on deep sea minerals facilitated by the Secretariat for the Pacific Community was held in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.  Fifteen Pacific Island states attended.  It was focused on state law and regulations, and enforcing compliances for safe mining and liability for seabed damage on the mining companies.  Tonga’s bill reading for a deep sea minerals act was scheduled for parliament in August 2013, but in the meantime, the state permitted companies to explore without the legislative framework.  In contrast to Melanesian states, the Kingdom of Tonga and deep sea minerals had not awoken an organised anti-mining movement from civil society and the general public.  Why was that?  And did this mean that Tonga’s experiences in a frontier commercial industry might travel a different course of development?

How to Cite
Brown Pulu, T. (2013). Deep Sea Tension: The Kingdom of Tonga and Deep Sea Minerals. Te Kaharoa, 6(1).