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Fish Find Home in California Oil Platforms (Califorinia 2006)
boatingchannel.com ^ | March 14, 2006 | Tim Molloy

Posted on 08/04/2008 6:35:26 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar

Marine biologist Milton Love drives a hybrid car, displays a banner of left-wing revolutionary Che Guevara on his laboratory wall - and has backing from Big Oil.

The reason: his finding that oil platforms off California's central coast are a haven for species of fish whose numbers have been dramatically reduced by overfishing.

That is good news to oil executives, who are looking for reasons not to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to remove the platforms once the crude stops flowing.

Environmentalists say oil companies are simply trying to escape their obligations.

"Just because fish are there doesn't mean the platform constitutes habitat," says Linda Krop, an attorney for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center. "That's like taking a picture of birds on a telephone wire and saying it's essential habitat."

The 27 platforms - skeletal-looking structures that house dormitories, offices and massive pumps - were installed over the past four decades and now produce 72,000 barrels of oil a day. Environmentalists and coastal residents despise them for spoiling the view and disrupting the ocean's ecology.

Federal law requires oil companies to remove the platforms when operations are complete, though no one knows whether it will be years or decades before the deposits under the sea floor run out.

Oil companies already are pressing state and federal officials to keep the rigs in place, citing Love's finding that platforms provide homes for bocaccio, cowcod and other fish.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week it might consider the idea but wants to know more about the effects of oil platforms on marine life.

Since the 1950s, when heavy fishing began in the region, some species of fish have been reduced to 6 percent of their previous numbers, according to Love. Some fisheries have closed, and the fishing fleet has shrunk by a third.

Love, a researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, films fish from a submarine and then counts them in his lab. He says some platforms are surrounded with fish packed as tightly as "cocktail wieners in a can."

"If anyone wants to come up and count the fish, we'll provide the first beer," Love says. "But they're going to have to bring the rest. And they're going to need a few cases because we have 11 years of research."

Love gets about 80 percent of his research money from the government and the rest from the California Artificial Reef Enhancement Program, a nonprofit group funded almost entirely by oil companies. It has contributed about $100,000 a year to Love's research since 1999, executive director George Steinbach says.

Love says no amount of oil money can sway his research - fish either cluster at the platforms or they don't. And because they do, he says his personal opinion is that the rigs should stay in place, cut below the waterline so that ships can pass safely over them.

"If you remove a platform you'll kill many millions of animals," he says.

Environmentalists say if the platforms were removed, fish would return to the underwater boulder fields and rocky outcroppings that form natural reefs along the Southern California coast.

In the Gulf of Mexico, more than 200 rigs have been converted into artificial reefs, either by toppling them or by lopping them off.

Krop, the environmental lawyer, says rig-to-reef conversions make more sense in the Gulf of Mexico because the waters there have a mud bottom and fewer natural reefs.

Converting platforms between Long Beach and Point Conception north of Santa Barbara could be $600 million to $1 billion cheaper than removing them, Steinbach says. He says the oil companies would contribute up to half their savings to state conservation programs.

Widespread opposition from environmentalists and residents has killed legislation that would have allowed such a deal.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: coastalenvironment; energy; environment; longbeach; marinebiology; offshoredrilling
10 years? hmmm.
1 posted on 08/04/2008 6:35:26 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: Jet Jaguar

The Texas State Aquarium has an oil-platform exhibit, showing the kinds of fish that live in this environment.


2 posted on 08/04/2008 6:36:57 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Wars kill soldiers; governments kill civilians." ~ Wayne LaPierre)
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To: Jet Jaguar

We have fished the oil derricks for decades its the heat and pilings i say dril drill drill


3 posted on 08/04/2008 6:38:25 PM PDT by al baby (Hi mom Cracker power Brother)
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To: Tax-chick

We who fish call this “structure”.


4 posted on 08/04/2008 6:39:16 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (END THIS FREEPATHON NOW!!!!)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

‘Xactly what I was thinking.


5 posted on 08/04/2008 6:41:29 PM PDT by Hi Heels (Now here at the Rock we have two rules. Rule #1 obey all rules. Rule #2 no writing on the walls...)
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To: Hi Heels

Yeah, like docks and lifts and trees and rocks............

It good for the fish. Fish like stuff to hang around.

Like caribou and the pipelines in Alaska.

You get it.

I get it.

This cannot be that difficult.

Bump the FReepathon thread.


6 posted on 08/04/2008 6:44:46 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (END THIS FREEPATHON NOW!!!!)
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To: Jet Jaguar

This has been a surprise in many quarters. Any diver will tell you that wrecks are great places to dive, since they provide an artificial reef for fish. It would be ironic if old oil platforms became big time recreational diving reefs.

Much of the ocean bottom in most areas is basically the land equivalent of a desert, until you introduce a reef.

I wish they would lighten up the environmental requirements for sinking old navy vessels as reefs as well.


7 posted on 08/04/2008 6:45:28 PM PDT by Wiseghy ("You want to break this army? Then break your word to it.")
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

So I hear. I’ve done more fishing in farm ponds, but even there, a few old stoves provide fish habitat!


8 posted on 08/04/2008 6:47:23 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Wars kill soldiers; governments kill civilians." ~ Wayne LaPierre)
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To: Jet Jaguar
Marine biologist Milton Love drives a hybrid car, displays a banner of left-wing revolutionary Che Guevara on his laboratory wall - and has backing from Big Oil.

Another soft science nerd who never worked a hard day in his life and gets paid to play in the surf all day. These types of "scientists" are useless, IMHO.

9 posted on 08/04/2008 6:48:18 PM PDT by Clock King (Under revision...)
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To: Jet Jaguar
"Just because fish are there doesn't mean the platform constitutes habitat," says Linda Krop, an attorney for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center. "That's like taking a picture of birds on a telephone wire and saying it's essential habitat"

This woman is a real idiot!

10 posted on 08/04/2008 6:49:15 PM PDT by chaos_5 (Some one needs to tell the "Mad Cow" to call the House back into session!)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo
We who fish call this “structure”.

And with structure, there is life.

11 posted on 08/04/2008 6:49:35 PM PDT by dfwddr ( Duncan Hunter .)
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To: Tax-chick

We call them “cribs”. The fish congregate there to feed, spawn and raise their wee’uns.


12 posted on 08/04/2008 6:49:46 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (END THIS FREEPATHON NOW!!!!)
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To: Tax-chick

Every angler on the Louisiana and Texas coast knows that the best places to fish are near the drilling platforms.


13 posted on 08/04/2008 6:49:54 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: dfwddr

Exactly.


14 posted on 08/04/2008 6:51:46 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (END THIS FREEPATHON NOW!!!!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants; ButThreeLeftsDo

Don’t “Environmentalists” just drive you nuts? No amount of facts about successful fish populations will change their minds.


15 posted on 08/04/2008 6:53:02 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Wars kill soldiers; governments kill civilians." ~ Wayne LaPierre)
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To: Jet Jaguar
It's a disaster for marine life when the platforms are removed. Those that were removed per agreement were purchased by fishing industry municipalities and dropped offshore of their harbors to punch up the local catch.

Humberto Fontova has an interesting take on platform fisheries here: Helldivers

16 posted on 08/04/2008 6:56:33 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (John McCain, the Manchurian Candidate.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

True that!!!


17 posted on 08/04/2008 6:58:55 PM PDT by willyd (Tickets, fines, fees, permits and inspections are synonyms for taxes)
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To: Clock King
These types of "scientists" are useless, IMHO.

This guy didn't jigger the numbers to "discover" what he wanted to see - he's not some "AlGore type scientist" finding whatever backs his politics. If he can handle the truth, he's NOT useless.

18 posted on 08/04/2008 7:03:05 PM PDT by GOPJ (MSM turns a blind eye to teen gay health hazards (AIDS) while crying about fat? Are they nuts?)
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To: Tax-chick

They’re not interested in facts or the truth.

They set their agenda and that is all they care about.


19 posted on 08/04/2008 7:03:38 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (END THIS FREEPATHON NOW!!!!)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Exactly. Human intervention is great for many animal populations (coyotes on your street? I’ve got ‘em!) but try getting an “environmentalist” to acknowledge that.


20 posted on 08/04/2008 7:07:51 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Wars kill soldiers; governments kill civilians." ~ Wayne LaPierre)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Gee! No wonder the caribou hang around the AK pipeline. It just goes to show that fish and animals are smarter than the environmentalists.


21 posted on 08/04/2008 7:11:05 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: al baby

I agree. Having gone fishing in those areas there are plenty of fish around the oil platforms. Also seals resting on the supports.


22 posted on 08/04/2008 7:15:28 PM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: Jet Jaguar

The Principality of Sealand is based entirely on a similar structure (although it wasn’t for drilling), perhaps such manmade islands could be acquired by offering to take care of them at no cost, save the oil companies a few bucks and get your own island? :p


23 posted on 08/04/2008 7:17:22 PM PDT by Ellendra (Most eco-freaks wouldn't know nature if it bit them on the butt . . . and it often does!)
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To: GOPJ

He’s too inconsistent. He drives a hybrid though hybrids consume more resources to make. If ha can handle truth, then he should be aware of the this. He admires Che, though if he had to live in a “revolutionary” society like Venezuela, he wouldn’t have the “backing of big oil”, and he’d be living in a shack on the beach unless he towed the State Party line.


24 posted on 08/04/2008 7:20:03 PM PDT by Clock King (Under revision...)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Salt water anglers in Texas and Louisiana have known this for many decades. The oil rigs are the place to fish!


25 posted on 08/04/2008 7:23:04 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: BnBlFlag

No oil rigs here but the discharge from The San Onofre nuclear plant makes for some good fishing.


26 posted on 08/04/2008 7:46:56 PM PDT by Pylon (Remember boys, flies spread disease, so keep yours closed.)
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To: Clock King
I feel what he drives - or how "green" he is - is beside the point. He let his science go where the facts led him - and that works for me.

As far as carbon footprints go - since everything has an energy signature - what a person spends a year is the best indicator of energy usage. What kind of car they drive or how many sheets of toilet paper they use is silly stuff.

I knew a woman in the 70's who was quite wealthy and spend every dime she could find, while sanctimoniously leaving lights off her Christmas tree to show how energy pious she was.

27 posted on 08/04/2008 7:50:37 PM PDT by GOPJ (MSM turns a blind eye to teen gay health hazards (AIDS) while crying about fat? Are they nuts?)
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To: Wiseghy
It would be ironic if old oil platforms became big time recreational diving reefs.

Check this out.

28 posted on 08/04/2008 7:56:09 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Pylon

Yep. Power Plant discharge areas are also excellent spots. Around here, in the Galveston Bay Complex, the fish like to congregate there in the winter especially because of the warm water being discharged.
That may be true in Cal. year round. That Pacific is cold!


29 posted on 08/04/2008 8:00:22 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: Jet Jaguar

The fact that wildlife of all kinds clearly like oil production and thrive around it just drives the nut cases nuts. I was just a kid, but remember the hue and cry about how the Alaskan pipeline would devastate the poor caribou.


30 posted on 08/04/2008 9:13:50 PM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: Ellendra
The Principality of Sealand
Isn't that the platform off the coast of the U.K.?
31 posted on 08/05/2008 7:08:06 AM PDT by Bikkuri
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To: Bikkuri

Yeah, the one that somebody declared was its own country several years ago, its now for sale.


32 posted on 08/05/2008 9:59:31 AM PDT by Ellendra (Most eco-freaks wouldn't know nature if it bit them on the butt . . . and it often does!)
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