Open Ocean Technology
Due to different restrictions an enhancement of aquaculture production in German coastal regions is hardly possible. These restrictions usually are caused by the different stakeholders of the coastal regions as well as the requirement of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Therefore the only reasonable solution to enhance the aquaculture production in German territorial waters is to move away from the coastline to more exposed offshore regions, what is then called offshore aquaculture.
The terms “offshore” and “open ocean” aquaculture have become frequently used terms in the aquaculture context during the last years. This can be explained by the increasing demand of aquaculture production, which cannot be met by traditional culture techniques.
So far only few offshore aquaculture facilities are producing due to the fact that still more research and development concerning the tougher conditions is necessary. Our main focus on offshore aquaculture concerns the economic feasibility of marine aquaculture sites in the North Sea. Nowadays wind energy is becoming an additional stakeholder for the North Sea. More than 3 000 wind machines are planned for the North Sea till the end of this decade. So far around 80 wind machines are under construction. These structures enable further offshore aquaculture facilities to be tested under realistic conditions.
The combination of environmentally sound wind energy and offshore aquaculture is one possible solution for a multiple resource use concept in Germany.