The aim of this programme is to increase understanding of the impact that man-made structures such as oil and gas rigs and offshore wind farms have on the North Sea ecosystem. It will provide robust scientific evidence to inform environmental management strategies for future decommissioning.
There is a major programme of decommissioning of North Sea energy installations planned over the next 20 years and beyond, however there is a lack of robust scientific rationale and a limited evidence base to support environmental management strategies for decommissioning.
This programme will address this by tackling critical gaps in scientific understanding of the role these man-made structures play in North Sea ecosystem structure and function.
The two-year foundation phase of the Influence of Man-made Structures in the Ecosystem (INSITE) research programme was funded by the oil and gas industry. This initial phase helped to establish preliminary, independent and transparent science to understand the influence of man-made structures in the North Sea ecosystem.
The projects funded under the foundation phase have advanced our initial understanding of the role of man-made structures in the North Sea ecosystem and they have highlighted critical gaps in understanding. This new research programme aims to build on the outcomes of the INSITE foundation stage and to address the identified gaps in knowledge.