Journal Article

The status of the California Rigs-to-Reefs Programme and the need to limit consumptive fishing activities

D. R. Frumkes

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue suppl, pages S272-S276
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
The status of the California Rigs-to-Reefs Programme and the need to limit consumptive fishing activities

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Planning and policy issues associated with the utilization in California of portions of decommissioned oil platforms as artificial reefs are identified. Problems, solutions, and current progress are discussed. Habitat values of several California rigs were contrasted with other marine habitats. The results suggest that some rigs provide valuable habitat for rockfish, but consumptive activities could nullify their enhancement potential. Legislation has been introduced that requires the rigs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Habitat value and safety are important when determining structure acceptance. A minimum of 40% of decommissioning savings is dedicated to a resource enhancement trust fund. Savings could be used to build new fishing opportunity reefs. The programme is designed to benefit open coastal marine resources, yet critical support from leading environmental organizations may be withheld. Representatives of the Santa Barbara-based environmental and commercial fishing organizations have been hostile to offshore oil drilling for decades and lead the opposition to the programme. Social and economic concerns have overshadowed biological issues. Copyright 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: artificial reefs; offshore oil rigs; production; refugia; rigs-to-reefs; source/sink.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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