Rigs-to-reefs: Will the deep sea benefit from artificial habitat?

Macreadie,PI, Fowler,AM and Booth,DJ 2011, Rigs-to-reefs: Will the deep sea benefit from artificial habitat?, Frontiers in ecology and the environment, vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 455-461, doi: 10.1890/100112.

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Title Rigs-to-reefs: Will the deep sea benefit from artificial habitat?
Author(s) Macreadie,PIORCID iD for Macreadie,PI orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-0882
Journal name Frontiers in ecology and the environment
Volume number 9
Issue number 8
Start page 455
End page 461
Total pages 7
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2011-10
ISSN 1540-9295
Summary As a peak in the global number of offshore oil rigs requiring decommissioning approaches, there is growing pressure for the implementation of a "rigs-to-reefs" program in the deep sea, whereby obsolete rigs are converted into artificial reefs. Such decommissioned rigs could enhance biological productivity, improve ecological connectivity, and facilitate conservation/restoration of deep-sea benthos (eg cold-water corals) by restricting access to fishing trawlers. Preliminary evidence indicates that decommissioned rigs in shallower waters can also help rebuild declining fish stocks. Conversely, potential negative impacts include physical damage to existing benthic habitats within the "drop zone", undesired changes in marine food webs, facilitation of the spread of invasive species, and release of contaminants as rigs corrode. We discuss key areas for future research and suggest alternatives to offset or minimize negative impacts. Overall, a rigs-to-reefs program may be a valid option for deep-sea benthic conservation. © The Ecological Society of America.
Language eng
DOI 10.1890/100112
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, Ecological Society of America
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30069777

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