Take two large cylinders, assemble them ten metres apart and hang a steel cage on them. This gives you a floating breakwater in which you can grow mussels, oysters and seaweed. Simple but effective, say Mitchell Williams and Frej Gustavsson of the Wageningen startup ReShore. Due to climate change – rising sea levels and frequent extreme weather – there is a lot of interest in breakwaters to protect harbours and coasts, says Gustavsson.
Gustavsson and Williams’ aquaculture breakwaters only exist as scale models (1:15) at present, but will soon be created with a diameter of 2 by 4 metres and will float 10 by 20 metres apart. The scale model has been tested in recent months at the Netherlands Maritime Research Institute (Marin) in Wageningen. Conclusion: their model breaks the waves effectively.
Williams and Gustavsson both did a Master’s degree in Aquaculture & Marine Resource Management at WUR and had already made a first sketch of the breakwater during their degree course. They are now further developing their concept and exploring the market for it at Starthub in Plus Ultra II. They want to work with offshore and dredging companies that have been awarded contracts to strengthen coastal defences.
The next step will be the construction of a full-scale aquaculture breakwater and a test on the high seas. With the guidance of StartLife, they will tackle fund-raising in 2022 for a large-scale demonstration project. You can find out more information about ReShore on www.ReShore.blue.
There are about 100 companies on campus. We introduce them to you in Resource. This time, ReShore.