Importance of Australia’s offshore Oil and Gas Infrastructure for Fish

A new paper is JUST published in Journal of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), focusing on the significance of offshore oil and gas infrastructure for fish in Australia's offshore waters. The paper is entitled :"Importance of Australia’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure for fish".

Image from McLean et al. (2021)


An assessment to remove, partially remove, leave in situ or repurpose oil and gas infrastructure at end of field life can be more robust if it uses rigorous, relevant and accurate data. They used industry remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video, specialised high-definition stereo-video systems and partnered with industry to enhance future ROV campaigns for the collection of scientific data from infrastructure. Data from 17 pipelines and 51 wells were analysed to report on patterns in fish species richness and abundance in Australia’s north, north-west and south-east regions. This represents the largest synthesised data set on marine communities for pipelines and wells, globally. They observed 401 fish species, 350 along pipelines and 113 on well infrastructure. Potential new fish species, critically endangered species, unique behaviours and diverse communities were discovered around pipeline and well infrastructure. Predicting the environmental consequences of different decommissioning options relies on a region-specific understanding of the ecological communities that are associated with these structures. They showcase marine research from around Australia that will inform local decommissioning and contribute to a more comprehensive global understanding of the impact of subsea infrastructure in our oceans.


This publication was led by Dianne McLean (Australian Institute of Marine Science and The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia), and Daniel Ierodiaconou and Sasha Whitmarsh from our group contributed to the publication.


Congrats to Dan, Sasha and the DU Marine Mapping Group!

To read the full article, click here.

Last edited on the August 1st, 2021.

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