In the continuing debate on the decommissioning and disposal of North Sea oil and gas platforms, the use of redundant structures as artificial reefs remains an untried possibility. It has been suggested that selected, clean, inert steel components could be used to create offshore reefs to attract finfish, to the benefit fisheries and fishermen. This might be an innovative and cost-effective use of these ``materials and opportunity``, and therefore should be examined more fully before the predicted 20-30 year period of steady decommissioning activity in the North Sea begins in earnest. This report relates on reviewing the use and effectiveness of artificial reefs, summarize existing knowledge of the reef effect of North Sea platforms, outline possible scenarios for the creation and exploitation of platform reefs in the North Sea, highlight gaps in knowledge, and to propose programmes of work to study the reef effect at an inshore and an offshore site in the North Sea. 5 tabs.