Marine and offshore
Monitoring and surveys


Shellfish filter the water, provide structure to the seabed and are important staple food for birds and other animals. Every year, Waardenburg Ecology surveys large parts of the Dutch marine coastal and offshore waters and maps the presence and abundance of shellfish. This knowledge is important for regulations, nature conservation and spatial developments such as wind farms.

Shellfish play an important role in the ecosystem of the North Sea, Wadden Sea, delta and coastal waters. They filter the water and are important food sorce for birds and other animals. Shellfish, such as oysters and mussels, form shellfish beds. In this way they provide structure and create a habitat for other organisms on the seabed.

Surveying shellfish beds

Shellfish beds play an important role in shaping marine ecosystems. This demands that we have knowledge on their occurrence and health, as well as the threats and protection measures. Where shellfish beds have disappeared, there is often a desire to restore them. Every year we survey large parts of our marine coastal and offshore waters. We use various techniques including box corers, side-scan sonar, dropcam, and our professional diving team to map out shellfish communities.

Important knowledge

This knowledge is important for:
  • Spatial developments, such as wind farms.
  • Nature conservation, such as for protected bird species.
  • European legislation and guidelines, such as the Marine Framework Directive.
We carry out monitoring in the context of the national MWTL program for Rijkswaterstaat, but also for the business community (HBR, offshore wind) and NGOs (ARK, WNF).