Belgian Pilot News | Third RV Simon Stevin trip to the Belwind wind farm
The third of October, the RV Simon Stevin sailed to sea under a lovely autumn sun. Next to the VLOOT crew, scientists from Ghent University, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and Jan De Nul Group came on board. The mission of the day was to enter the offshore wind farm (OWF) of Belwind in the framework of the Belgian pilot within the H2020 funded UNITED project. The Belgian pilot combines aquaculture of seaweed and European flat oyster with the restoration of flat oyster reefs inside an OWF. To explore how nature restoration within a Belgian OWF could be feasible, a scientific diving team inspected and sampled one of our oyster restoration structures placed at the scour protection of one of the turbines (Figure 1). Once brought on board, the scientific team investigated the biodiversity that had been formed on the scour protection stones that were added to the tables (Figure 2). The processing is still ongoing, but we can already tell you we found species never encountered from the OWFs in Belgium!