Offshore-Aquaculture

The terms "Offshore” and “Open Ocean" were unknown or seldom used within the German public. Recently (2005 onwards), however, renewable energy installations, such as wind farms, were placed in the German Bight and elsewhere in Northern Europe. Since than these terms have become common "catch-phrases". In an effort to cover the immense demand for seafood products, more larger sites to conduct aquaculture have to be identified to fill this demand, therefore moving further exposed from the coastal waters in the offshore realm, where area potential is offered. As there are currently only a very few world-wide Open Ocean Aquaculture businesses operating commercially the reasons for that slow development are manifold: the international emerging technology requires extensive development and testing, stakeholder conflicts have to be solved and regulations are not in place yet, just to name a few.

Our current research concentrates on "Open Ocean Aquaculture" (OOA) and aims to ascertain the economic feasibility of an offshore marine aquaculture structure in the North Sea. As in the same area more than 3000 wind-generators are already installed or still in the planning process these offshore wind farm installations offer themselves as a first possibility for OOA installation testing. Germany considers the combination of environmentally-friendly wind-driven power generation with the environmental enhancement that extensive aquaculture offers as a very important opportunity for the development of a multiple resource use concept.