Will we soon be eating oysters from our offshore wind farms?

Will we soon be eating oysters from our offshore wind farms?

Offshore wind farms not only supply green electricity, they can also facilitate nature restoration and aquaculture. Jan De Nul Group is part of a consortium that is investigating how we can sustainably use the space of wind farms in the Belgian North Sea. "With this project we want to restore the native flat oyster reefs. Aquaculture and nature restoration go hand in hand", says Emile Lemey, Engineer Project Development. We aim to be eating oysters from our offshore wind farms.

"A large part of the North Sea used to consist of oyster banks," explains Emile. "Our fishing methods unfortunately disturb the seabed, destroying oyster banks. With this project, we want to restore that biotope. The flat oyster is a delicacy, but this breed is threatened by the Japanese oyster. And we even go further: we want to enable sustainable harvesting by setting up integrated aquaculture. In doing so, one species benefits from the other. We would combine the cultivation of flat oysters with seaweed. This natural product can also be used in human or animal food, in biotechnology and even in fuel.”

The United project is part of a large-scale European research project aimed at using space at sea as sustainably 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. Happy World Oceans Day!