United project: nature-inclusive scour protection tests successfully set out
Despite some delays due to the COVID-19 crisis, Jan De Nul Group and its partners are making progress in the United project. During the past summer months, the first flat oyster aquaculture structure and restoration tables have been set out in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Together with our partners we successfully accomplished the first four sea missions nearshore. We were able to install longlines to collect wild oyster spat from the environment. We also tested the potential for a restoration habitat to form natural flat oyster reefs at the nearshore site of Westdiep (5km off the coast of Nieuwpoort).
Additionally, we will evaluate the aquaculture potential for flat oyster of the nearshore site. In autumn 2020, we will evaluate the first results and start up the co-cultivation with sugar kelp (seaweed).
The United Project
The United project is part of a large-scale European research project aimed at using space at sea as sustainable as possible. A total of five pilot projects are being set up with the support of partners from eight countries. Jan De Nul Group participates in the research project in Belgium, which focuses on nature restoration and aquaculture. In this way, the group also contributes to a healthier ocean.