In the Luchterduinen wind farm, the first pilot project of the Rich North Sea commenced in 2018. The aim of the project is to identify the factors influencing the success of nature restoration using oysters and to contribute to a blueprint for the possibilities of nature enhancement in wind farms in the North Sea. In July 2019, a monitoring mission was carried out on this project, on the basis of which a research report was drawn up in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research.
The monitoring mission revealed that there are dynamic conditions in the Luchterduinen wind farm. A lot of sand was observed in and around the oyster racks that have been placed. It is unclear whether the sand has ended up here because of the thin legs in combination with the weight of the oyster table or whether the oyster tables have been hit by sand waves that swept over the table. Because of the sedimentation, the dynamic conditions in wind farm Luchterduinen will be looked at again and the design of the oyster racks will also be revised. New tests at current or comparable locations can only take place after the design has been reviewed. On the basis of the findings that were made, we set out a challenge in which the reef cubes emerged as the winner.
The eight-month monitoring mission used Bonamia-free Norwegian oysters. The oysters show promising results in the pilot when the reproduction and presence of oyster larvae in the water column is examined. In the spring of 2021, we will monitor whether the oyster larvae have grown into adult oysters and have started to reproduce. We hope to find that they have established on the stones around the wind turbine and that offspring (larvae) in the water column are detectable.