Project 3 – Understanding the spread risk of invasive marine species (IMS) in the context of decommissioning

Full Project Title

Understanding the spread risk of invasive marine species (IMS) in the context of decommissioning.

NDRI Reference

RP1-Pro3 (Research Program 1 – Project 3)

Objective

To understand how the potential impact and risk of spreading IMS varies with different decommissioning scenarios (such as complete removal, leave in place, topple or tow), whether this is likely to be a matter of concern, and whether there are actions that can be taken to reduce the impacts and risks to an acceptable level for different decommissioning scenarios.

Background

O&G infrastructure in the oceans may facilitate the spread and impact of invasive marine species (IMS). IMS can have negative impacts on ocean biodiversity, ecosystem function, fisheries, and human health. Reports of invasive species associated with O&G infrastructure are currently limited.

Questions
  1. If there is evidence of IMS associated with existing O&G structures, how might the impact and risk of spreading IMS vary with different decommissioning scenarios and management regimes (for example, brought onboard a vessel and cleaned then brought to shore versus cleaning onshore; or, cleaned then reefed versus not cleaned and wet-towed then reefed)?
  2. Are there realistic actions, such as cleaning, that can be taken to reduce the risks of spreading IMS?
Approach

We expect that these questions will be addressed with desktop studies, literature reviews and conceptual frameworks. Applicants should consider the potential for RP1-Pro1 to identify IMS during ROV analyses, and how this information may assist with this project.

Applications