North Sea Reef

Project Title
North Sea Reef
Acronym
NSR
Priority
Priority 3 Sustainable North Sea Region: Protecting against climate change and preserving the environment
Lead Beneficiary
ETEC Service & Engineering BV
Contact Person First Name
Richard
Contact Person Last Name
Kirschbaum
Email
Richard@etec-se.nl
Address
Kieënweg
P.O. Box
Postal Code
5991EK
City
Baarlo
Country
The Netherlands
Telephone
0625483766
Fax
Central Aim

The North Sea Reef project will create artificial reefs along the north sea coastline in order to create a network of high quality habitable hotspots. The aims of this project are:

  • create high quality habitable areas for the North Sea marine ecosystem.
  • improve the current state of the North Sea marine ecosystem.
  • increase the chances of survival and reproduction for critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species.
Project Description

Sustainable, affordable and replicate-able artificial reefs will be designed and engineered. An artificial reef is a collection of structures and objects such as reef balls. These reefs are composed of locally sourced and recycled materials to mimic natural reef systems. Reefs are made simple but will create complex habitats to encourage colonization of algal and invertebrates, which will in turn attract fish. These reefs will be designed in collaboration with Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium because of their experience in artificial reefs. VLIZ created two artificial reefs in the Belgium North Sea and stated: “Eight months after installation many organisms already found their way to the concrete reef structures. Among them several crab species, sea anemones, starfish, fish and even a lobster”.

Following the North Sea coast line from "De Panne" in Belgium along the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and all the way up to "Bergen" in Norway is 2000km long. The initial plan is to divide the coast line in 200 sites. At each site an artificial reef will be installed of 10.000 square meter. Total number of sites could be reduced if conditions are unsuitable or because of shipping lines, off shore construction area or other yet unknown obstruction. Consulting on placement/locations, monitoring and further research will be done in collaboration with institutes and universities such Rijkswaterstaat, Konsortium Deutsche Meeresfoschung, NIOZ, Wageningen University, Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee and the Marine Biological Research Centre of Southern Denmark University.

Envisaged Output

Output of the North Sea Reef project will be high quality habitable hotspots along the North Sea coastline. Stretching from Belgium all the way up to Denmark. These reefs will harbour many different species from phytoplanktonic to benthic and fish communities. Critical endangered, endangered and vulnerable species will have a higher chance of survival and the extinction rate of marine wild life in the North Sea will decrease. This project will create awareness and display the North Sea not only has an economical resource but also with a high ecological value. In the long term artificial reefs will attract tourism (diving) and increase the economy of the coastal areas. Water quality will rise and the overall status of the North Sea will improve.

What is the need for this project?

Due to the heavy human populations and high level of industrialization along its shores, the wildlife of the North Sea has suffered tremendously from industrial and agricultural pollution, invasive species, eutrophication, over-hunting and -fishing, offshore construction and heavy shipping traffic. The future of our North Sea marine ecosystem is looking grim. Habitable zones are disappearing and being fragmentated while the chances of survival and reproduction are decreasing.

As a counter-initiative against the industrialization and aforementioned causes, artificial reefs will be installed along the North Sea coastline in order to create high quality habitable areas for marine wildlife. These areas will increase the chances of survival and recruitment, especially for critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. And therefor improve the marine ecosystem and the status of the North Sea coastal areas.

Thematic Keywords
Build with nature
Climate change adaptation
Ecosystem management
Ecosystem services
Sustainable environmental management
Other Keywords
Artificial reef, Marine ecosystem, Wildlife,
Partners Found Already
Partners Searched
  • Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)
  • Wageningen University (WUR)
  • Marine Biological Research Centre of Southern Denmark University (SDU).
  • Konsortium Deutsche Meeresfoschung (KDM)
  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
Estimated Budget
1.500.000



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