Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 12 October 2020 – Van Oord, as part of Two Towers, takes the next step in a research programme relating to the restoration of European flat oyster beds. To investigate methods for the development of oyster reefs at offshore locations, a total of eight reef structures with oysters will be installed underwater within the Borssele Wind Farm Site V in the North Sea.
Ecoscour protection at the Borssele Wind Farm Site
The Borssele Wind Farm Site V, located 20 km off the coast of the Netherlands, has been designated as an innovation site. Two Towers, consisting of Van Oord, Investri Offshore and Green Giraffe, has been awarded the concession and has therefore been given a unique opportunity to test and demonstrate advanced technologies. One of the technologies is the Ecofriendly scour (Ecoscour) protection.
Oyster reefs are the basis for a healthy, thriving underwater life. They filter the seawater and provide food, shelter, and spawning area for fishes and other marine species. Over a century ago, one-fifth of the Dutch part of the North Sea was covered with European flat oyster beds, but these have disappeared, due to overfishing, habitat destruction and disease. Because of the designation of marine protected areas and the construction of offshore wind farms, areas with undisturbed seafloor are increasing. This provides an opportunity for restoring the oyster reefs in the North Sea. The Ecoscour project generates knowledge on the development of oyster reefs. Van Oord works together with Wageningen Marine Research, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Bureau Waardenburg and the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.