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Windtech International May June 2024 issue

 

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New partnership between Ørsted and ARK Nature pioneers testing the potential of rewilding principles to restore vital ocean biodiversity.
 
One initial focus is restoring shellfish reefs that are fundamental to ecological restoration in the North Sea, and to use learnings from the project to develop the best ways to scale up work globally to ensure an overall net-positive impact on nature when building offshore wind farms. The partnership will start in the North Sea, where Ørsted and ARK are setting up a Marine FieldLab for rewilding. The first step is finding the most suitable location on ecological grounds. One initial focus is on restoration of shellfish reefs – reefs formed by living organisms such as oysters and mussels which act as the foundation of a healthy marine ecosystem. They provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for other species, in addition to improving water quality and are fundamental to the restoration of the wider North Sea ecosystem. Currently there are very few places remaining in the North Sea where shellfish larvae can attach and create new reefs. The partnership will test and develop the best ways for wind farms to provide this and support biodiversity. Once the approach has been sufficiently tested, it could potentially be applied at a larger scale around the world.
 
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