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SYMAPA research project’s positive results offers potential for Westdiep Sea Farm

SYMAPA research project’s positive results offers potential for Westdiep Sea Farm

During the SYMAPA day, the partners in the SYMAPA project announced their final project results. The various project partners explored potential synergies between marine mussel, oyster and seaweed farming and passive fishing.

Colruyt Group’s innovation team took part in this project and conducted research in the Westdiep zone evaluating the feasibility of oyster farming in the open sea and the synergies of combining mariculture with passive fishing. The results of this research turn out to be positive.

To investigate the technical feasibility of oyster farming, several aquaculture installations were monitored in a living lab for three years. Flat oysters farmed in the open sea were analysed and found to be healthy, qualitative and tasteful by a selected taste panel. The oysters clearly benefit from the nutrient-rich conditions off our coast. The major challenge for offshore farming is the biological fouling that attaches to the aquaculture installations. The rapid growth of fouling organisms on the baskets is a technical obstacle that must be remedied to allow for farming to be commercially viable. Colruyt Group therefore continues to invest in research that would in time enable the growth of flat oysters in the Westdiep zone. 

A step-by-step approach has been put in place to further develop solutions to combat biological fouling in oyster farming and as such to work towards commercial farming at the Westdiep Sea Farm. Growing multiple species in the Westdiep Sea Farm would allow Colruyt Group to offer a wider range of seafood and.

Today, Colruyt Group is building our country’s first commercial sea farm where phase one’s first 50 mussel lines are being installed and the first limited harvest is expected in summer 2023.

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