The role of fishermen and other stakeholders in the North Sea rigs-to-reefs debate

Mark Samuel Peter Baine, Jonathan Charles Side

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The North Sea rigs-to-reefs debate has moved forward with the formation of a multi-stakeholder steering group that oversees the development of independent research. Despite the sharp division that exists in stakeholder opinion, particularly related to whether or not such a concept constitutes an act of dumping, there now exists a proactive approach to assessing the need and potential for the formation of reefs using redundant oil and gas platforms. One influential stakeholder, Greenpeace, however, has distanced itself from the process. Liability, loss of access, and safety are of particular concern to fishermen when examining calls for offshore and nearshore reefs. The fishing industry remains unconvinced of the benefits of inshore reefs but maintains an open mind. It remains, however, committed in opposition to offshore reef creation, even more so when suggested in combination with a no fishing policy. The environmental pressure group Greenpeace is opposed to any rigs-to-reefs initiative, seeing this as a means by which offshore operators can circumvent the Oslo and Paris Commission's (OSPAR) Decision 98/3, which calls for complete removal of offshore installations. The importance of cost and the existence of willing reef beneficiaries are highlighted as important to the acceptance and success of a nearshore rigs-to-reefs venture. The creation of offshore reefs faces numerous political hurdles. The importance of a genuine stakeholder dialogue process to integrate scientific and political thinking and to avoid the re-occurrence of an event similar to the Brent Spar is stressed. The paper concludes that fishermen hold the key to the success of rigs-to-reefs ventures in the North Sea and that their cooperation and participation is essential for the promotion and success of the concept.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFisheries, reefs, and offshore development
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the Gulf of Mexico Fish and Fisheries Meeting held at New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 24-26 October, 2000
    EditorsDavid R. Stanley, Ann Scarborough-Bull
    Place of PublicationBetheseda, Maryland
    PublisherAmerican Fisheries Society
    Pages1-14
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)1888569549
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003

    Publication series

    NameAmerican Fisheries Society symposium
    PublisherAmerican Fisheries Society
    Volume36
    ISSN (Print)0892-2284

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