- On 21st July 2020
- In Research and Development
- By Luke
Exo Environmental alongside our partners; University of Essex, Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners and Richard Haward’s Oysters, are working towards an innovation that reduces commercial risk to native flat oyster production whilst also improving productivity.
This project has been made possible thanks to the Seafood Innovation Fund. The Seafood Innovation Fund, or SIF for short, is a 3 year programme launched in July 2019. It aims to deliver long term benefits across the UK seafood sector by supporting innovative ideas through the research and development stages. This includes proving feasibility and demonstration in the relevant environment prior to market launch and commercialisation.
Take a look at our new video where Izaak explains more about the project and SIF.
Using the SIF grant, Exo developed reusable moulds based on unique 3D printed designs. These moulds were filled with a bespoke mix of stabilised sediment, to create unique spat collector discs, with desired surface textures aimed at maximizing spat collection. This technology involves using clean dredged material, supporting the UK’s aims towards a circular economy and increasing sustainability.
Last week we mounted the discs on custom-made frames and deployed at 3 locations within Brightlingsea Harbour, in Essex. Two sets of discs were on triangular frames placed in the Colne estuary and one set of discs was suspended from beneath a pontoon.
Monitoring will now take place for a period of 9 months, ending in April 2021, where we will determine the percentage of spat collected when compared to traditional plastic spat collectors. Following this study, it is Exo’s aim to implement this technology in oyster fisheries across the UK, to help re-vitalise fishing industries and increase sustainable productivity.