The REFAS project is a pioneering feasibility study to accelerate reef creation underneath aquaculture sites and enhance multitrophic aquaculture & fishery opportunities. The 3 month pilot will demonstrate the installation of a scaled down mussel farm with Reef Cube® technology underneath.
This project has been awarded funding to continue into the R&D phase as RD046.
ARC Marine have successfully built and deployed a modular, low-carbon reef structure to accelerate reef creation. Reef Cubes ® have been deployed in close proximity to a local shellfish aquaculture site to demonstrate this new technology being used to enhance static gear fisheries around aquaculture projects. By deploying Reef Cubes ®, ARC Marine aim to increase the abundance and catch of crab and lobsters, whilst also achieving a net gain in biodiversity.
They have trialled different survey methodologies and used the results to select the best options to study the expansion of the reef over the next year. A consultation program engaging with local fishermen and stakeholders has begun, which will be built upon in the coming months. By starting this process, they have kickstarted their efforts to improve communication between fishers, aquaculture operators and other stakeholders, whilst developing responsible & sustainable methods for fishing around aquaculture sites and demonstrating the safe deployment of Reef Cubes ®.
ARC Marine Ltd.