Marine Science & The Environment

The sea is an important resource for people all over the world. It is essential that we understand the marine environment, so that we can protect the plants and creatures that live in it and make sure that it continues to be a resource for people in the future.

Scientists have been studying the sea for many years.

Scientists use instruments called bathythermographs to measure the sea's temperatures at different depths. Hundreds of years ago, people used to think that the deeper you went into the sea, the hotter it became. However, instruments like bathythermographs helped scientists discover that the deep sea was cold and not hot.

The work marine scientists do includes checking fish numbers, measuring pollution and finding out more about fish diseases. If too many fish are caught by fishermen, it could lead to the extinction of some species. Overfishing in the past has meant that there are now restrictions on the number of fish that are allowed to be caught in the North Sea. Scientists check fish numbers to help decide how many fish can be caught.

Too much pollution can harm the creatures that live in the sea. In the past people disposed of things into the North Sea that they are not allow to dispose of there now. There are rules to protect the environment there.

In the North sea oil and gas is produced from wells drilled into rock underneath the seabed. Oil platforms are used at sea to produce the oil. When as much oil has been produced as possible the oil platforms are removed. It is important that this is done without causing any damage or pollution to the environment. Platforms are often broken up into pieces so the parts can be recycled or used again.

Bathythermograph Maureen Refloat Poster


Drift bottles were used to study the sea's currents. Scientists put the bottles into the sea with a card inside with an address for it to be returned. The bottles could be washed up far away from where they were put into the sea. If you were going to put a message in a bottle for somebody far away to find in the future, what would you say about where you live.

Look for the things from the Maureen oil platform in the timeline. The Maureen oil platform was broken up and almost all of it was recycled or used again. Do you and your family recycle anything? What do you recycle? Try to find out what the things you recycle are made into.

Oil platforms are very tall. They have to reach from the seabed to the surface of the water. Can you find the top and the bottom of the model Murchison Oil Platform in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum tour.