An article, written by OSC’s Dr Victoria Todd, entitled Rigs – to decommission or not to decommission, is set to be published in Marine Scientist.
What to do with offshore installations when they reach the end of their lifetime is a hot topic of debate. Since 1986, the Gulf of Mexico has been running a Rigs to Reef scheme, where instead of removing installations they are left in situ. These rigs now provide refuge for marine life, and support thriving fisheries. This is not currently the case in the North Sea.
The majority of research into this topic has focused on fish and invertebrates, but research by OSC has demonstrated that if left in situ, installations can become potential foraging locations for harbour porpoise. Studies on other species are also starting to show the same results. In depleted areas, it stands to reason that these installations could be beneficial to marine mammals.
For more detail, why not check out Victoria’s article,
Todd V.L.G. (2013) Rigs – to decommission or not to decommission? Marine Scientist, 43, 22-25, http://eshop.imarest.org/the-marine-scientist-subscription.html