Although the German Bight provides reasonably good conditions for extensive aquaculture of marine organisms, the actual aquaculture production is very limited. The roots of this problem lie in the difficulties of a practical regulatory framework which could distribute the available area between different interest groups without creating user conflicts. The mooring of aquaculture facilities under the rough conditions in the North Sea is extremely costly. The high investment costs for such facilities would potentially make an economically feasible management impossible.
By combining the infrastructure for offshore wind energy facilities and aquaculture installations, the costs for building, operation and maintenance could probably be significantly reduced. By affiliating aquaculture constructions to wind energy facilities, vast areas could be made available for aquaculture.
The main goal of the project “Opean Ocean Multi-Use” is a realistic assessment of the implementation of such a project under biological, socio-economic and technical aspects as well as the development of practical solutions for the various problems encountered by integrating aquaculture constructions into offshore wind energy facilities. Participating research institutes are: the IMARE Bremerhaven, which will mainly focus on the biological and socio-economic aspects of this project, the fishery economics division of the Heinrich von Thünen Institute Hamburg, and the Franzius Institute and the Institute for Steel Construction of the Leibniz University of Hannover, which will deal with the engineering of the aquaculture construction. The project partners “Frosta“ and “Kutterfish” provide access to, and information on the logistics of fish products, while “Bard Engineering GmbH” and “EWE” provide valuable knowledge concerning offshore operations and renewable energy sources.
The social science sub-project as a central part of the entire OOMU-project strongly cooperates with the other partners: Institut für Stahlbau, Franzius Institut für Wasserbau und Küsteningenieurswesen, Vti Institut für Seefischerei, Kutterfisch Zentrale GmbH, Bard Engineering GmbH, FRoSTA AG, and EWE Aktiengesellschaft.
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.a