Exciting times for BESE-reef paste
In offshore windfarm GEMINI in the North Sea, BESE-reef paste is being tested on large scale.
Last year 3 big bags (3 m3) consisting of a shell and BESE-reef paste mixture were dropped on the sea floor between the monopiles. The BESE-reef paste is expected to enhance reef formation on the seabed by pasting the shells together and creating large blocks, which are less likely to be buried in the sediment.
This year 22 bigbags will be added to the first trial to form a reef consisting of 25 m3 of BESE-reef paste mixed with shells.
Why BESE-Reef paste?
Current erosion protection in wind farms is made of various stone and concrete structures, which must be completely removed after the life of the wind farm (20-25 years), together with the wind turbines. This can have major consequences for the underwater ecology, as it also removes all epifauna that has colonized on the hard substrate during the lifetime of the wind farm. Since 2017, it has therefore been laid down by law that an offshore wind farm must be designed and built in such a way that it improves the marine ecosystem, thereby preserving marine species and habitats that occur naturally in those areas. For example, an artificially hardsubstrate can create a favorable living environment in which protective native species, such as flat oysters (Ostrea edulis), can establish themselves.
BESE-reef paste aids in improving marine life within windfarms by providing a suitable settlement substrate for marine species, like oysters. And because of its biobased and biodegradable nature, removal activities of the material are not necessary after the lifespan of the wind farm. The marine life that has overgrown the reef paste can remain and enhance the natural biodiversity in the area, even beyond the wind farm's lifespan.
Of course we don't do this alone, but together with partners who outplace and monitor the materials.