Lab test reef tiles

Wind farms in the North Sea are intended locations for large-scale restoration of oyster reefs. Commissioned by De Rijke Noordzee, Blue Linked is executing the project 'Lab test reef tiles' in which we will test our innovative concept of 'Seeding hectares of reef' under conditioned circumstances.

Innovative method

In order to apply reef restoration, Blue Linked has developed reef tiles on which sessile organisms can settle, such as oysters, mussels, tube worms, anemones and dead man's fingers. The overgrown tiles - which are so small they fit in the palm of your hand - are then 'seeded' into the sea.

The method of inoculating the tiles was successfully tested earlier during a coral reef restoration project in Puerto Rico. And model studies into the sinking speed and distribution of the tiles in test basins (TU Delft) offer positive results on the usability of the rift tiles in the field.

Behaviour of reef tiles on the North Sea floor

Within the framework of De Rijke Noordzee programme, in which wind farms are to serve as breeding grounds for underwater nature, the 'Lab test reef tiles' project is the next step towards being able to apply the rift tiles in the field. In cooperation with TU Delft, two prototypes of reef tiles are being tested to see how they behave under different bottom conditions in the North Sea. The research is carried out in a flow channel, in which the conditions can be manipulated. The results of the experiments will be reported as support for our innovative approach.

Visualising the development of biota

Simultaneously with the experimental research in the flow channel, Blue Linked's hatchery also studies the way in which different reef builders (a.o. oyster fry) settle on the reef tiles. In collaboration with Dutch Maritime Productions and Picturing Wildlife, this process is visualized (photo, video). The unique images this will provide can be used for educational purposes for example.

Images will be published here as soon as they become available.

This project is financed by De Rijke Noordzee. Start: September 2021.

Our partners in this project:
K&S Decors
Picturing Wildlife