19.11.2021 | Work visit to project partner 'Sea farm on land' on Texel
With the granting of a subsidy by the Wadden Fund early this year, our cooperation with the Salt Farm Foundation (SFF), located on the Wadden Island of Texel, was started.
In the project 'Sea farm on land', part of Blauwe Polder 1, the Oceans at Work Foundation enables the development of circular fish farming with innovative techniques. The first phase in which we are now, means that in the breeding centre of our knowledge partner Blue Linked in Hazerswoude-dorp, a hatchery for fish fry is built. Several news items about this have already appeared on our website. As soon as fry are produced here, we will extend our activities to Texel. There, we will build a growth facility, also using circular techniques. We will start working on this next year.
In order to meet up with our project partner, we visited the SFF test location on Texel, near the Mokbaai, located at the entrance to the Wadden Sea.
Growing sea lettuce on land
We were given a guided tour by Aad Kiljan (SFF), on the photo on the left. Renate and Frans van der Veer (Oceans at Work Foundation) and Marja Doedens (Blauwe Polder Foundation) listened closely to an explanation of the techniques used to grow the seaweed (sea lettuce) in the cultivation tanks, using pumped-up sea water. There is no direct connection with the sea beyond the dike nearby.
The seaweed is kept in optimal condition by keeping the sea water moving with aeration. And special procedures are necessary to monitor the water quality. Even in the harsh November weather, the sea lettuce survives.
Demonstration greenhouse saline crops
In SFF's 'taste experience greenhouse', Marc van Rijsselberghe (left on photo), the driving force behind the foundation, explained what happens here. Apart from SFF's seaweed cultivation activities, Van Rijsselberghe has been working for decades to make agricultural crops resistant to an increasing global problem: the increasing salinity of soil and groundwater. This salinization causes the food supply to come under pressure.
SFF's goal is to provide farmers with the knowledge and resources to grow crops on saline soil. This will ensure that less fresh water is required.
Salt tolerant crops
During our working visit, we were allowed to sample a range of tasty salt tolerant crops that have been developed through the pioneering work of Van Rijsselberghe and his colleagues. A tantalising experience for the senses.
It was a nice confirmation to experience that SFF, with its work on saline agriculture, fits in perfectly with the pioneering work of the Oceans at Work Foundation. With circularly farmed sea fish, saline crops and seaweed, together we are completing the menu of the future.