which are consistent with these predictions. In particular, the occurrence of white-beaked dolphins has declined since the 1990s, while the distribution of common dolphin is currently expanding rapidly as waters have warmed. It is not clear why the ranges of many cetacean species are so tightly linked to water temperature. However, an analysis of the thermal niche of the common dolphin suggests that it is due to direct physiological effects on thermal biology. As a result, cetacean species can act as good, and rapid, indicators for the effects of climate change on a variety of marine ecosystems. While we can measure what has already happened in the past or what is happening at present, it is also beneficial to know what is likely to happen in the future. As a result, we have used ecological modelling to predict how the distribution of some key cetacean species are likely to change under various emission scenarios over the next century to provide a assessment of what the future may hold for northwest European marine ecosystems
Monitoring Ichthyofaunal changes arising from the development of a new oil and gas facility in the North Sea.
1, Jones E G1,2, Reid D G1,3, Wigham B4, Penny I1 and Priede I.G5
1Marine Scotland-Science, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, UK
2 Current address: National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA), 41 Market Place, Auckland Central, 1010 Private Bag 99940, Newmarket Auckland 1149, New Zealand
3 Current address: Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
4Dove Marine Laboratory, Newcastle University, Cullercoats, North Shields NE30 4PZ, UK
5University of Aberdeen, Oceanlab, Newburgh, Aberdeen AB11 6AA, UK
The oil and gas industry has been part of the North Sea for over 40 years. A key issue is the relationship between the installations and the local fish assemblage. The structures act as Fish Aggregation Devices, and as encrusting fauna colonize the hard substrate the platform acts as a de facto artificial reef, providing shelter and feeding habitat. Through the SERPENT partnership, we monitored the area of a new oil platform situated 55km northeast of Peterhead before and after the construction and activity of the installation. The use of baited underwater camera (BUC) to sample demersal fish is becoming increasingly considered as an alternative to traditional survey methods to estimate fish numbers, particularly in environments that contain sensitive habitats or species.