The 2021 edition of OMC - MED ENERGY CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION took place in Ravenna from the 28th to the 30th of September 2021 and awarded the Adrireef project with the prestigious "Best Paper Award for Circular Economy".
The awarded paper is entitled "A holistic approach for promoting the blue economy Growth: the case study of the Paguro wreck" and it was written by Marco Palma, Ubaldo Pantaleo, Nicola Castelnuovo, Carlo del Grande, Monica Previati, UBICA srl (Underwater BIo-CArtography) with the collaboration of Marco Lezzi, Silvia Pigozzi, Cristina Mazziotti, ARPAE Agenzia prevenzione ambiente energia dell'Emilia-Romagna, Michela Soldati, Silvia Ulazzi, Matteo Parrinello, Giulia Cillani, Emanuela Medeghini, Comune di Ravenna, Enrico Barelli OnAir srl, Ennio Ottaviani, OnAir srl, Università degli Studi di Genova Dipartimento di Matematica, Massimiliano Pinat, Istituto per le Risorse Biologiche e le Biotecnologie - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IRBIM-CNR), Francesca Visintin, eFrame srl, Gianna Fabi, Istituto Scienze Marine - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISMAR-CNR).
Despite the OSPAR Convention decisions, the Oil & Gas installations placed in the marine environment can have positive impacts on marine ecology, providing hard substrates and habitats to species, increasing the local production and supporting activities based on the blue-economy principles. The Paguro wreck is composed of a jack-up platform sunk in 1965 and several decommissioned structures from other offshore assets relocated on and around the wreck since 1990. Nowadays the site is recognised as a hotspot of biodiversity and, since 2019, protected as a Special Area of Conservation. Recreational scuba diving is the only commercial activity allowed in the area. The wreck and the decommissioned structures act as an artificial reef, supporting a complex trophic net and diverse fauna which represent the pivoting point for the biological, economic and social analysis carried out within the framework of the CBC Programme Interreg V-A Italy-Croatia, Adrireef project.
Under Adrireef project, a complex monitoring plan has been carried out. The holistic approach applied to the Paguro study case empowers its attitudes to scientific research, promotes local tourism and encourages its conservation by also engaging the larger public of non-scuba divers.
Based on the Paguro wreck experience, Adrireef project's results can be the base for further applications of reusing dismissed Oil & Gas structures to improve marine ecosystems and to foster Blue Economy with new business opportunities.
Read full paper here