Thomas Tothill

Masters student

Contact

Centre for Marine Futures
School of Biological Sciences
& UWA Oceans Institute
University of Western Australia M092
35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009

Email

Masters title: Offshore oil and gas platforms as novel ecosystems: a tale of two pylons

Start date: 26 February, 2018

Best practice for decommissioning obsolete oil and gas structures has long been an area of debate; do we simply remove the structures, or are there ecological and economic grounds that support conversion of platforms into artificial reefs? My research aims to determine how fish diversity and abundance change with depth on two 50 m vertical pylons supporting an oil platform on the Northwest Shelf of Western Australia. I will utilise industry Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) footage used in maintenance inspections and surveys for analysis, and in doing so, determine the ecological value of ROV video for scientific studies. Assessment of the vertical distributions of fish on oil platforms will contribute to our understanding of offshore structures as novel ecosystems and be of benefit to decision-makers regarding the best-practice for decommissioning in this region.