The combination of population growth and increased level of wealth, result in an increased demand of mineral resources. However, most easily accessible deposits have already been depleted. Therefore attention is shifting towards the ocean floor as a supplier of resources.
Though the ocean contains a lot of mineral resources, it is unclear how deep sea mining will affect our global ecosystem. The strange thing is that we know more about the surface of the Moon or even of Mars than what is going on in two-thirds of our own planet.
Below two excellent videos on the concept of deep sea mining and its risks for the environment.
The second video also discuss the medical benefits deep sea marine life could offer and could be destroyed by deep sea mining:
See here for another post I wrote on the subject of deep sea mining.