Colruyt Group develops the first commercial sea farm off the Belgian coast: Westdiep Sea Farm. We will start cultivating Belgian mussels in 2022 and expect the first products in the stores by 2023. At the same time we investigate the feasibility of cultivating oysters and seaweed.
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.
Why import mussels when we can grow them ourselves in our own North Sea?
Together with our Belgian partners, we are joining forces to develop the first sea farm and thus bring the first Belgian mussel to your plate.