Anglers concerned over Gulf rig removals
STATEMENT OF COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION AT THE FEBRUARY 2011 MEETING OF THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL:
The oil and gas production rigs and structures of the Gulf of Mexico are generally regarded as one of the largest man-made artificial reef in the world, providing habitat to dozens of species of finfish and other marine life, many of which are highly structure dependent. After years in the marine environment, the structures support a significant and important biomass.
The current effort by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and the Rigs to Reefs Addendum threaten this vital structure and is certain to have a negative impact on the marine environment and its ability to support fisheries greatly valued by recreational anglers. There is no doubt that any additional structure provided in the Gulf will benefit offshore habitat to support the reef fish complex, and any efforts to deny such defies logic. CCA is urging the federal government to work with the Gulf states and the operating companies to find a reasonable solution that will prove beneficial to all parties, particularly the marine resources of the Gulf of Mexico.