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India applied in ISA to explore two tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 29-03-2024
India applied in ISA to explore two tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed Place in News 5 min read

India has applied for exploration rights to explore two tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed, including the cobalt-rich Afanasy Nikitin Seamount (AN Seamount).

About Afanasy Nikitin Seamount: 

Afanasy Nikitin seamount is located in the Central Indian Basin, about 3,000 km off the coast of India. It is a raised area on the ocean floor, standing at 1200m above the surrounding area which is at 4800m. The seamount contains valuable deposits of cobalt, nickel, manganese, and copper.

About Seamount

  • Seamounts are underwater mountains formed by volcanic activity. They are known for being hotspots for marine life. Just like volcanoes on land, seamounts can be active, dormant or extinct. 
  • They are created near mid-ocean ridges, where the earth’s tectonic plates are moving apart, allowing molten rock to rise to the seafloor. 
  • The two most-studied mid-ocean ridges on Earth are the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise. 
  • Seamounts can also be found near intraplate hotspots, regions of heavy volcanic activity within a plate, and oceanic island chains with volcanic and seismic activity called island arcs.

Importance of seamounts:

Understanding the composition of the mantle and how tectonic plates change can provide valuable information about the circulation of water and the absorption of heat and carbon dioxide. These areas can also support life since they can cause nutrient-rich water from deep within the ocean to move up to the surface, a process called localised ocean upwelling.

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • ISA was established as the Instrument Society of America in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on 28 April 1945. It was founded by Richard Rimbach, who worked for the Instruments Publishing Company. 
  • The organization emerged from the initiative of 18 local instrument societies who sought to unite and form a national body. Therefore, Rimbach is acknowledged as the founder of ISA.
  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an independent international organization created by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement relating to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • ISA is responsible for regulating and overseeing all mineral-related activities in the Area on behalf of the States Parties to UNCLOS for the benefit of the entire human race. Its primary objective is to ensure that deep-sea activities do not have harmful effects on the marine environment.
  • ISA's headquarters are located in Kingston, Jamaica, and it became fully operational as an independent international organization in June 1996, taking over the facilities in Kingston previously used by the United Nations Kingston Office for the Law of the Sea.
  • All States Parties to UNCLOS are automatically members of ISA, in accordance with Article 156(2) of UNCLOS. The Area and its resources are the common property of all humanity, and the Area covers about 54% of the total area of the world's oceans.


Answer: Afanasy Nikitin Seamount

Answer: 1945

Answer: Kingston, Jamaica

Answer: 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
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