As part of a broader collaboration, HZ University of Applied Sciences researches, together with commercial mussel farmers, nature organisations, The Department of Waterways and Public Works and researchers of NIOZ, IMARES and Deltares, the possibilities to create littoral mussel beds and sustain them by means of active management.
The objective of the research is to develop methods to achieve a number of goals that seem paradoxical:
• Creating new and profitable production locations for the shellfish industry;
• Environmentally friendly methods to protect the intertidal areas against erosion;
• Increasing the natural value of intertidal areas within the framework of the objectives of Natura-2000.
Through experimental and comparative research, new knowledge is acquired about a number of factors that play a role in the creation of littoral mussel beds and about the value of artificially created mussel beds for various functions - (potential) economic value, natural value and contribution to the stability of the site. In addition, the possibilities or impossibilities will be researched to combine these different objectives/functions with the help of active and sustainable management. The most important results are a proven method for the creation of a littoral mussel bed and a value model that provides insight into the active management and the balancing the values.
This research is financed in part by Regieorgaan SIA, part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Partners that are involved in this project include Roem van Yerseke B.V., the Ronde Beheer B.V., The Department of Waterways and Public Works Sea and Delta [Zee en Delta], The Society for the Preservation of Nature [Natuurmonumenten], ARK Nature development [ARK Natuurontwikkeling], World Wildlife Fund [Wereldnatuurfonds], NIOZ, IMARES, Deltares.