Offshore Wind Farms as Potential Locations for Flat Oyster (Ostrea edulis) Restoration in the Dutch North Sea
A number of wind farms in the Dutch section of the North Sea are suitable locations for development of flat oyster beds.
The “Dutch Energy Agreement” motivates governments and industries to invest in renewable energy sources, of which offshore wind energy is one of the solutions to meet the agreed target of 16% of the total energy budget from renewable resources by 2023. An option for the multi-use of wind farms is nature-inclusive building, in which the design and construction of wind farms make use of the potential for co-design with oyster bed restoration. This can support the government’s ambitions, for the Dutch North Sea, to achieve biodiversity goals, restore ecosystem functions, and enhance ecosystem services, including future seafood production.
For the recovery of flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) beds, knowledge is required about the conditions under which active restoration of this species in the North Sea can be successfully implemented. This paper gives a framework and presents results to determine suitability of wind farms for flat oyster restoration, and provides recommendations for pilot studies. Our analysis showed that a number of wind farms in the Dutch section of the North Sea are suitable locations for development of flat oyster beds. Combining oyster restoration and oyster culture, as a protein source, is a viable option worth investigating.