Project

TripleP@Sea - Multi-use platforms Noordzee (MUPS)

The program aims to provide sound scientific and societal applicable knowledge that stimulates widespread offshore production of marine protein, taking into account ecosystems values, value chains and the involvement of stakeholder communities.

The program aims to provide sound scientific and societal applicable knowledge that stimulates widespread offshore production of marine protein, taking into account ecosystems values, value chains and the involvement of stakeholder communities.

The oceans of the world are subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures. Next to traditional ways of exploitation such as fisheries, transportation and oil production, new economic pressure is expected in the future through activities such as offshore wind farms, constructions for marine aquaculture and the exploitation of wave energy. One current attractive solution for this balance lies in combining the economic activities as part of multi-use platforms at sea (MUPS).

Offshore production of natural resources in MUPS can be a sustainable alternative for the dependency on scarce, imported (often non-renewable) resources. This research focusses on the production, processing and profitability of seaweed as a source for feed, chemicals and fuel. Seaweed is an important marine product, with total production exceeding 15 million ton, representing a market value of more than 4 billion US$ (FAO, 2010). The North Sea climate is favourable for production of seaweed but at this moment, there is no commercial production.

Research on production techniques and application of produce for feed, chemicals and energy is needed but requires investments. Private actors are uncertain about the future value-chains of offshore produce and have no feasible business-model available. Furthermore, it is not clear how to organise the offshore production and value chains, given the huge number of stakeholders involved and the absence of established procedures.

The program aims to provide sound scientific and societal applicable knowledge that stimulates widespread offshore production of marine protein, taking into account ecosystems values, value chains and the involvement of stakeholder communities.

To reach this objective, the research is built from three components:

  1. the production of marine protein; with a focus on seaweed as promising marine protein source, tackling the question what the production system should look like, improving the performance while reducing risks.
  2. the usage of the products; with a focus on feed (farm animal and fish), food, non-food and energy.
  3. the license to produce; investigating under what conditions seaweed production could take off, in an economically and socially sensible manner.

This research will be a joint scientific effort of Imares, Alterra, LEI, ASG, AFSG and PSG. It links with private actors, international experts and PhD proposals 

  

Publications