Why import mussels when we can grow them ourselves in our own North Sea?
Together with our partners, we developed the first commercial Belgian sea farm to bring the first Belgian mussels to your plate. The result is a tasty and high-quality product to be proud of. In the summer of 2023, fresh market Cru launched the sale of our sea farm mussels.
A lot of research preceded the realisation of Sea Farm Westdiep. In addition to mussel farming, we are investigating the feasibility of oyster and seaweed farming. Together with our partners, we continue to invest in aquaculture.
Sea farm Westdiep is located off the coast of Nieuwpoort and Koksijde in project zone C, as foreseen in the Marine Spatial Plan. In the start-up phase, one quarter of the zone is used, which will be expanded to the entire zone later.
To ensure the safety of all seafarers, we clearly demarcate the sea farm with cardinal buoys , special marker buoys and aquaculture buoys . There is also a safety system installed that continuously monitors the zone.
The cultivation of mussels and oysters in the open sea is an extractive form of aquaculture. This means that the shellfish get their nutrients from the seawater, so nothing is added to the ecosystem. Moreover, a sea farm can serve as a shelter for fish and other marine life. In this way we promote biodiversity in the Belgian North Sea.
Cultivation takes place using longline or ‘hanging’ technology, whereby a rope is attached underwater to buoys and strong anchors. Underneath, ropes are installed which provides an attachment site for mussel seed and enables its growth.