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  • Roosje Rutten

Research project BOOST

Updated: Apr 3

Boost (Better Oyster Outplacement & Seeding Techniques) is a collaborative research project developing scalable methods of restoring the Dutch native oyster reefs.



Period: November 2023 – now

 


Key Takeaways


In this project, we're working on:

  1. New technology and methods for scalable and confident monitoring of flat oyster cultivation.

  2. Validating scalable methods for artificially reintroducing flat oyster reefs to the North Sea.


Challenge

 

The Dutch North Sea once had thriving flat oyster reefs, but they're mostly gone now. To bring back the biodiversity these reefs accomodate, artificial methods of sowing and growing flat oysters are needed.


BlueLinked has already tackled one of the biggest challenges in flat oyster cultivation: flat oyster's inability to attatch to a sandy seafloor. They've designed the ReefBooster, a special riftile providing a suitable settling surface and current resistance. This gives flat oysters a first foothold to grow into proper reefs.


However, scaling up this method comes with more challenges. Underwater nature restoration is limited by the expensive monitoring that is required, and current methods are not equipped to work at larger scales.

 

 

The ReefBooster, a riftile that enables flat oysters to settle and become better equiped against the currents of the North Sea. Source: Bart van Engeldorp Gastelaars, BOOST — BlueLinked.



Solution                                                       

 

In our collaborative project BOOST, we're working together on methods to scale up and accelerate the cultivation of flat oyster reefs using the ReefBooster.


A key challenge is the need for large-scale data collection and monitoring in order to determine what works best in the sowing and growing process. This data is also important for the next phase, where stakeholders need to effectively show the impact they’ve been able to make through their investment in nature restoration.


That's why we're developing new technology with our underwater drone. BOOST drives us to innovate and improve our prototype under the challenging conditions of the North Sea. We've already demonstrated some significant advantages of using the Lobster Scout; it can monitor automatically, get you closer to the seafloor than other methods, and despite poor water quality, the Lobster Scout can deliver clear high-quality data. And, most importantly, its use is practical, straightforward and cost-effective, enabling large-scale data collection.



Impact


The significant impact that this collaborative project has on scaling and accelerating the process of reintroducing flat oyster reefs to the Nort Sea speaks for itself. We're proud to contribute to this important objective of a healthier seascape.



Updates

 

For recent updates, take a look at our official project page: BOOST — BlueLinked



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