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O41 A0914


Development of biodiversity around artificial reefs

In offshore wind farms, nature develops around the foundations of the wind turbines. Fish populations are given the opportunity to grow, as no fishing is allowed in the wind farms. That is a wonderful development, but what happens to cod and lobster when we try to further support biodiversity in such a wind farm by constructing artificial reefs? In this research project, The Rich North Sea is addressing that question.

What are we going to do?

Concrete foundations of various sizes will be placed at four locations in the Borssele I & II wind farm to provide shelter for Atlantic cod and other large fish species. At two of the four sites, shells and stones will also be laid on the seabed. Researchers from Wageningen Marine Research will study the behaviour of the cod around the reefs in the years to come.

In conjunction with this project, The Rich North Sea is conducting research into the life of the North Sea lobster. We tag lobsters so that we can follow their movements. Their movements can tell us something about the lobster's behaviour. For example, about where they eat, hide, mate or behave territorially. This information can then contribute to an overall picture of the ecosystem within a wind farm.

The location

We work together with Ørsted and Wageningen Marine Research in the 138 square kilometre Borssele I & II wind farm. This wind farm with 94 turbines is located 23 kilometres off the coast of Westkapelle. Each year, it produces enough electricity for one million Dutch households.

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The research: behaviour of lobsters and restoration of biodiversity

The Rich North Sea is mapping how nature develops on and around these artificial reefs. How do the lobsters move around the wind farm and do they use the artificial reefs for shelter and foraging? And how is the recovery of biodiversity going?

Ørsted has made the project understandable with an animation.

More about this project

Click to enlarge