Temporal variation in environmental conditions and the structure of fish assemblages around an offshore oil platform in the North Sea

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Abstract

This study reports temporal variations in the environmental conditions and the structure of fish assemblages observed in the vicinity of an offshore oil platform and the surrounding seafloor in the North Sea. Multi-seasonal sampling was conducted at a typical large steel jacketed facility, using mid-water fish traps at three different depths (i.e., 10, 50 & 100m). Commercially important gadoids such as saithe Pollachius virens, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus and cod Gadus morhua were the most abundant species, however, the species composition and the relative abundances of the species varied with depth, season and between years. Comparisons with a large-scale bottom trawl survey data suggested highly dynamic and species-specific interactions between fish movements, changing environmental conditions and the physical presence of an offshore platform. Given the number of platforms currently installed across the North Sea, there is a need to identify biological mechanisms behind such dynamic interactions.

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Fujii, T. (2015). Temporal variation in environmental conditions and the structure of fish assemblages around an offshore oil platform in the North Sea. Marine Environmental Research, 108, 69–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2015.03.013

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