Europe’s multi-billion-dollar offshore oil and natural gas infrastructure, located primarily in the now declining North Sea, could carry some unexpected marine ecological benefits, according to Scottish researchers. Oil rigs, shipwrecks and other man-made structures in the North Sea could “play a vital role” in holding together threatened coral populations and increasing their resilience, researchers from the University of Edinburgh wrote in a recent issue of Scientific Reports. They found that it’s important to study the infrastructure’s ties to the ecosystem before decommissioning.
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