Research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas conducts research how to improve the start of flat oyster farming in the Grevelingen by capturing baby oysters in an alternative way.
Regieorgaan SIA is enthusiastic about the project and has rated the proposal highly. Of the seventeen proposals submitted in the SIA RAAK-MKB program, the proposal "Cost-effectiveness flat oyster brood capture Grevelingen" finished second.
In the project, the research group is working together with nine oyster farmers (two of which are based in France), the Dutch Oyster Association, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and educational institution Scalda. Together they are studying how to increase the capture of oyster spawn.
Flat oyster farming is in danger of disappearing from Grevelingenmeer. The main cause is that flat oyster larvae are hardly captured on the capture materials (empty mussel shells) on the bottom plots. Oyster larvae are the starting material needed to grow oysters to consumption size. In 2020, growers began using a method in which oyster larvae are trapped on containment materials on frames set on the bottom. "This is a promising method, but very labor intensive for the growers. They also don't know exactly how to time when to put out their containment materials," said Pascalle Jacobs, researcher and coordinator of Aquaculture in Delta Areas.
The researchers want to develop a method by which growers in Grevelingenmeer themselves can gain insight into where and when oyster larvae are present in the water. They can then deploy their containment equipment more effectively. "We are working with two French oyster farmers, because they already have a lot of experience there with off bottom trapping. We are also investigating whether biodegradable trapping materials are suitable for trapping oyster spawn. This is what the French are very interested in."
The project has a duration of two years and started in April 2023.