Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Structures in the Marine Environment


28 June 2023, The Studio, Glasgow

Programme available to download below


MASTS is assisting with this year’s Structures in the Marine Environment (SIME) 2023 conference which will be held in person in Glasgow at the studio on Wednesday 28th June.

Academics, stakeholders, industry and government representatives and interested parties are invited to come together for talks, posters, networking and discussion about the environmental effects of artificial structures already within the marine ecosystem, and the rapid expansion of new infrastructure over the coming decades.

In response to our societal need to generate energy, artificial structures have been placed into our coastal and marine environments. The structures range from oil and gas installations, associated pipelines and seabed infrastructure, as well as offshore wind farms and other renewables that, as part of an energy transition, are rapidly scaling up to meet the needs of the Government’s Energy Strategy as well as tackling the world’s climate crisis. Inevitably, these structures host communities by providing habitat and shelter, and potentially serve as stepping-stones for the spread of some species. In addition to deliberately placed structures, shipwrecks can also serve a similar function. In turn, the biodiversity that develops on these structures can affect biological, hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes from the water column to the seafloor, either directly (e.g. food-webs, scouring) or indirectly (e.g. biorefugia, displacement of fisheries) and, hence, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services and benefits to society are also affected at various spatial and temporal scales.

Science plays a critical part in understanding these effects as well as the role they play in our society and any opportunities they create, for example for environmental restoration, marine net gain and environmental credit trading markets. Ambitions for more integrated decision making across marine planning, fisheries, nature conservation and energy sectors, rely on the scientific evidence base to develop suitable polices and decisions where multi-sectoral considerations are increasingly important. Within an international context, SIME2023 will focus on developing a better understanding of the role artificial marine structures have in a changing seascape, supporting ecological best practice in relation to the energy transition, marine environmental management and a changing climate.

Let’s talk about the effects, benefits and implications of structures, and discuss how we can accelerate our understanding to support decisions for the benefit of the environment and society.

Programme Now Available

The programme for the SIME 2023 conference is now available and looks fantastic! We hope you can join us.

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