Oil production structures in the North Sea as fish aggregating devices
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The paper deals with a study aimed at investigating whether underwater structures from decommissioned oil platforms in the North Sea can be used as artificial fish reefs or protection habitats for fish. The experimental part of the investigation is not yet finished, and the results presented must be regarded as preliminary. An abandoned petroleum platform in the Norwegian North Sea sector was used as a case study. The amount of fish aggregated among the underwater steel structures of the platform was quantified by vessel based and platform based hydro-acoustics and UTV, as well as by fishing trials with trawl, gillnets, longlines and traps. The movement and behaviour of fish around the platforms were studied by acoustic tagging techniques. The possible potential for the use of steel structures from abandoned oil platforms as management tools is discussed.
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