Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

California’s Offshore Oil And Gas Platforms Serve As Marine Protected Areas

Date:
July 14, 2003
Source:
University Of California, Santa Barbara
Summary:
California’s offshore oil and gas platforms act as de facto marine protected areas for some overfished species and serve as a home to a variety of fish and invertebrate organisms, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

California’s offshore oil and gas platforms act as de facto marine protected areas for some overfished species and serve as a home to a variety of fish and invertebrate organisms, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biologists Milton S. Love, Donna M. Schroeder and Mary M. Nishimoto have produced a report on a six-year study entitled, Platform Research Report, "The Ecological Role of Oil and Gas Production Platforms and Natural Outcrops on Fishes in Southern and Central California: A Synthesis of Information."

The researchers explain that the invertebrate organisms attach to the beams providing habitat for the fish. At the bottom of the platform is a "shell mound" of mussels and other invertebrates that are dislodged during cleaning or storms.

Off California there are 26 of these platforms, with 23 in federal waters and three in state waters.

Within a few years, some platforms, in Southern and Central California, will stop pumping. As they say in the report, "All oil and gas platforms have finite economic lives and by the beginning of the twenty-first century, seven platforms in Southern California had been decommissioned and a number of others appeared to be nearing the end of their economic lives."

So the question of what to do with the platforms becomes an issue. Should they be removed, have their tops taken off, toppled over, or remain as they are? The authors don’t take a stand, deferring the question to the various "stakeholders," including conservationists who want the platforms removed to those who fish the platforms who would like to see them stay. Chapter four covers the possibilities in great detail; it is called a "Guide to Ecological and Political Issues Surrounding Oil Platform Decommissioning in California."

In describing the research, Love explained that few of the many dozens of natural reefs that were studied harbored the large numbers of young rockfish that platforms do. He calls the platforms huge reefs and explained that they are better nurseries than nearby natural reefs. At least 18 species of rockfish use the platforms as a nursery and 35 species make these underwater towers their home.

Love said that there is increasing evidence that some platforms produce fish, while some fish, like kelp bass, tend to relocate there as adults.

He said that with this study, more is known about these platforms than any artificial reef system anywhere, including the Gulf of Mexico.

The study is available on line at http://www.id.ucsb.edu/lovelab. Videotapes of the surveys are also available. The study was mainly funded by the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, part of the Department of Interior. Additional funding came from California Artificial Reef Enhancement Program, which is largely funded by the oil industry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Santa Barbara. "California’s Offshore Oil And Gas Platforms Serve As Marine Protected Areas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030714092329.htm>.
University Of California, Santa Barbara. (2003, July 14). California’s Offshore Oil And Gas Platforms Serve As Marine Protected Areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030714092329.htm
University Of California, Santa Barbara. "California’s Offshore Oil And Gas Platforms Serve As Marine Protected Areas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030714092329.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins