The deep seabed until the late sixties was a largely unknown part of the sea and represented nothing more than an academic curiosity. With technology making hitherto hidden depths of the ocean accessible for exploitation, it became known in the late sixties that the deep seabed contained precious minerals. In a world used to shrinking resources, this shot the deep seabed into the centre stage of world politics, becoming perhaps the most controversial issue in any United Nations Conference. The controversy centered around the legal status of the deep seabed. This work contends that there is not in place any viable international legal regime for supervising and regulating resource development in the deep seabed outside national jurisdiction; that whatever regulations there are, are geared towards facilitating exploitation of the area; that such lacunae would be at an environmental cost that could negate whatever short-term benefits are derivable therefrom.