I’m on the mailing list of the Louisiana Council of Underwater Dive Clubs. The club is trying to save a valuable resource for both divers and fisherman. These are the marine ecosystems that form on the oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. What follows is a comment I sent to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. After my comment are the links you can follow to help us save these underwater treasures, along with some video to show why they are worth saving.
As a professional in the recreational scuba diving industry, I know first hand what kind of economic benefit these rigs bring. The habitat for marine life these structures provide are phenomenal. During the years I’ve been in the scuba diving industry I’ve been lucky to be able to dive all over the world. The platforms in the Gulf of Mexico attract more fish, larger fish and a diversity of life on them, then anywhere else I have seen. This marine life draws sport divers, spear fisherman and sport fisherman from all over the country, providing recreation and a livelihood for a significant amount of people. To remove these structures really has no benefit for anybody and does a tremendous injustice to many. The structures should be left in place above and below the surface as the top of the rig from the surface of the water to 100ft. holds an abundant amount of life.
Coral Reef Dive Shop
To all concerned with the protection of the Marine Habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and everywhere Marine life is threatened.
Please find below two (2) petitions and/or comments to be made to NOAA concerning listing several species of Corals in both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean as endangered and/or threatened, and to the Gulf Council concerning declaring artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico as Essential Marine Habitats.
All matter up for comments and where they are at this time from the Gulf Council.
comments on platforms
http://www.gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/comment_forms/EFH%20Amendment.php (this is where you need to go to comment at on the platforms, please include the platform should remain in placed top to bottom)
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/corals-11-30-2012.html information on the corals
http://www.regulations.gov/#!home;tab=search if you are unable to go direct to the comment sheet, then use this page and put in NOAA NMFS 2010 0036 in search to go to the comment page
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2010-0036-0398 to go directly to the comment page, this is where you need to go to comment on the corals (this is where you need to comment on the Corals) deadline is 03/07/2013
At the present, this is a numbers game. Both NOAA and Gulf Council are judging what kind of interest is in these two (2) matters. If there is little or no interest in a position, the matter will have less chances to be successful.
Signing these two petitions or comments may be the easiest thing you can do to gain support for keeping the decommissioned platforms in placed. Please forward to your friends and family mailing list, Facebook, etc. and encourage them to sign and send the comments.
If your not familiar with the marine life that is attracted to the offshore platforms here are some videos.
The video here is a product of Apache Oil and Gas Production Company, It does a very good job of explaining the “Rigs to Reefs” program. But it is in the prospective of an oil company in the Gulf.
What they do not tell you, all of the beautiful underwater video is shot above 100’ and when the platform is removed for Rigs to Reefs, the life on the upper 120’ to 140’ are loss and destroyed.
A recent video by Captain Al Walker (also a LCUDC member) on platforms near the Flower Gardens and HI 389.