Heriot-Watt's Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology has been named as a partner in a major project to estimate the impact of man-made structures on the marine environment.
The £1.8m project, INSITE – the INfluence of man-made Structures In the Ecosystem, involves seven centres of scientific excellence from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom and aims to improve the understanding of the influence of structures such as oil and gas platforms, wind farms and shipwrecks in the North Sea.
The objectives of the programme are to identify the magnitude of the effects of man-made structures on the ecosystem over time and around the structures themselves, to determine the extent to which these structures represent an inter-connected system of hard substrate and the effect that may have on the marine environment. The Heriot-Watt group will be looking at Appraisal of Network Connectivity between North Sea subsea oil and gas platforms (ANChor).
INSITE programme director Richard Heard said, “Very little work has been undertaken to date on the relationship between man-made structures and the ecosystem of the North Sea. The research projects to be funded through INSITE will therefore be invaluable in providing the science needed to better understand the interaction with the marine environment and, ultimately, better inform decision making processes.”