Action: Cease or prohibit oil and gas drilling
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of ceasing or prohibiting oil and gas drilling 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.
Routine oil and gas drilling activities can impact subtidal invertebrate seabed communities due to smothering and burial from drill cuttings and drill fluids, , pollution from the use of chemicals and additives, physical damage or loss of suitable natural sediment (Cordes et al. 2016). Ceasing on-going oil and gas drilling, for instance following protective legislation or the non-renewal of permit, can stop the threat and potentially allow for the community to recover over time.
However, it should be kept in mind that prohibition in one place may simply lead to displacement, which may impact the same or different communities in other locations.
Cordes E.E., Jones D.O., Schlacher T.A., Amon D.J., Bernardino A.F., Brooke S., Carney R., DeLeo D.M., Dunlop K.M., Escobar-Briones E.G. & Gates A.R. (2016) Environmental impacts of the deep-water oil and gas industry: a review to guide management strategies. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 4, 58.