Action: Bury pipelines instead of surface laying and rock dumping
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of burying pipelines instead of surface laying and rock dumping on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Rock dump involves placing rock material on the seabed or surrounding infrastructure to stabilise underwater structures from offshore industries, such as oil and gas platforms or windfarms, to protect pipelines, and remove the risk of snagging by fishing vessels operating trawl nets (Visser & van der Meer 2008). Rock dump can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through loss of natural sediment and changes in habitat characteristics, such as particle size. Burying pipelines removes the need for dumping rock over them as a protection means, therefore potentially reducing the level of associated threats to subtidal benthic invertebrates (De Groot 1982 ; Morrow & Larking 2007). Evidence for other interventions related to rock dumping are summarised under “Threat: Energy production and mining – Use stabilisation material that can be more easily recovered at decommissioning stage” and “Limit the amount of stabilisation material used”. Evidence for other interventions related to pipelines and subsea cables are summarised under “Habitat restoration and creation – Cover subsea cables with artificial reefs” and “Cover subsea cables with materials that encourage the accumulation of natural sediments”.
De Groot S.J. (1982) The impact of laying and maintenance of offshore pipelines on the marine environment and the North Sea fisheries. Ocean Management, 8, 1–27.
Morrow D.R., & Larkin P.D. (2007) The challenges of pipeline burial. In The Seventeenth International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers.