June 30, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Rockfish Prefer Oil-Rig Real Estate

Environmentalists may complain about offshore oil platforms, but the rockfish in the Santa Barbara channel aren’t paying attention.  According to a study announced by UC Santa Barbara, rockfish are finding better living through human chemistry.  The platforms provide security and prime nursing habitat, such that their numbers, once dangerously low, are now resurging.  The artificial reefs are apparently doing more for the fish than their natural ones.

Of course man did not have this in mind when drilling for oil, but it shows that human activity is not always an environmental curse.  We’re part of the ecology, too, and sometimes our animal friends learn to adapt – even profit – from our ventures.

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