large group of international researchers have just published a scientific
article in which they encourage environmental authorities across the globe
to rethink the idea of removing oil rigs, wind turbines and other
installations in the sea when they are worn out.
submerged camera at an old worn out oil rig shows an extensive life of
flatfish, cod and bottom fauna in all its forms. A life usually not see
in these parts of the North Sea, where the oil rig awaits
decommissioning after 25 years' of loyal service in pumping oil and gas
from the ground.
also see many more porpoises around oil rigs than in the surrounding
sea," says senior researcher Jonas Teilmann from Aarhus University, who
has been involved in the studies that have just been published in the
international journal Frontiers
in Ecology and the Environment.
easy to understand why the porpoises enjoy the area. One can't throw a
fish hook without catching one of the many cod around the legs of the
oil rig," says Jonas Teilmann.
reefs form oases in the sea
oil rig or other artificial installations are typically present for
20-30 years in the sea. Through this period, the tubes, bars, concrete
bricks and much more turn into beneficial substrate for adhering plants
and animals. And this rich environment attracts fish and mammals.
it has been decided that that all artificial installations in the sea
must be removed when they are no longer in use. But now almost 30
international researchers say that this decision perhaps should be
for example, the North Sea, an old oil rig will have the same function
as a natural stone reef," Jonas Teilmann explains.
stone reefs are in short supply as stones have been removed and used
for, among other things, pier construction or been destroyed and spread
due to use of heavy trawls.
have observed a significantly increased biodiversity around the old
facilities and encourage the authorities to consider, in each individual
case, whether an exemption from the demand for removal can be granted.
When making the assessment, the environmental conditions must, of
course, be of sufficient quality," says Jonas Teilmann.
the world, there are more than 7,500 oil and gas platforms and between
10,000 and 20,000 wind turbines that need to be removed at some point.
It is estimated that it will cost up to EUR 100 billion to remove these
perhaps the money can be saved and conditions for marine life improved
leaving the rig in place, we may ensure greater biodiversity in the sea.
The physical structures also ensure that the areas will not be trawled.
The heavy trawls turn the seabed into a uniform desert with poor
biodiversity," says Jonas Teilmann.
research group behind the article therefore urges politicians and
officials throughout the world to introduce a temporary halt on the
mandatory decommissioning of offshore infrastructure. According to the
researchers, the competent authorities should instead make an
environmental assessment of which structures to leave and conduct
follow-up investigations of the effect of the new reefs.
provided by Aarhus
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