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Subsea pipelines offer shelter to important commercial fish species in Australia

Subsea pipelines offer shelter to important commercial fish species in Australia

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- For conservationists and environmentalists, pipelines and the oil they carry are mostly viewed as a threat to ecological health. But new research suggests they serve as a safe haven for important commercial fish species off the coast of northwest Australia.The North West Shelf, which lies off the coast of Western Australia, features an array of gas wells, subsea pipelines and other kinds of underwater infrastructure necessary to support oil and gas exploration in the region.Oil and gas companies regularly use remote operated vehicles, or ROVs, to monitor their pipelines. Researchers at the University of Western Australia used video footage from industry submersibles to survey fish diversity and abundance around pipelines at varying depths.Their analysis revealed a surprisi...