Excessive nutrients in coastal waters cause eutrophication in the aquatic environment and green algal mat growth on intertidal mudflats. The Rapid reduction of Nutrients in Transitional waters (RaNTrans) project will develop and test innovative and cost-effective methods to reduce algal mat coverage and reduce nutrient levels in these mudflats.
The project will also develop novel uses of algal mats by extracting chemicals with human health benefits. By developing the business potential of these sustainably-produced outputs the project will show how biodiversity preservation and environmental improvements can underpin regional job creation as oysters, aquaculture feeds and seaweeds are multibillion-dollar industries.
The project’s goals are also to reduce nutrients that will not only generate societal and economic benefits, but 5 years post-project will increase the FCE percentage of TAC (Transitional and Coastal) water bodies with Good Ecological Status (GES) by 20%.
The project will develop techniques to:
- Mechanically remove algal mats
- Feed algal mats to polychaete worms to convert them to aquaculture feed
- Use seaweed and European oysters to reduce nutrient loading
This project uses testing sites in France and England, including facilities at the Institute of Marine Sciences such as the floating research platform moored in Langstone Harbour, a 5.4m research vessel, the RV Calypso and the extensive laboratory facilities.
University of Portsmouth staff
- Dr Andrew Van Der Schatte Olivier, Senior Research Associate
- Zoe Morrall, Project Coordinator