Finding a solution to the problem
Some intertidal and coastal areas of southern England (such as Poole Harbour and Langstone Harbour) and northern France are particularly impacted by these dense algae mats, with negative effects on the environment, economy, and human health.
To address this issue, an international team of researchers from universities and research organisations in France and England, led by the University of Portsmouth, has been working on the RaNTrans project for the past three years. The project aims to find innovative and cost-effective methods to reduce algal mat coverage in the Channel Manche region.
“The RaNTrans project has represented a unique opportunity to collaborate with research organizations and universities in France (CEVA, ARGANS, Aleor, Université de Caen Normandie, Université de Bretagne Occidentale) and England (University of Portsmouth, Bournemouth University, Natural England) allowing cross-border knowledge sharing on methods to reduce nutrient levels in coastal regions” explained Cefas senior scientist Elisa Capuzzo.
The project, which is coming to an end this year, investigated different nutrient removal methods including mechanical removal of algal mats, feeding algal mats to polychaete worms and converting these to aquaculture feed, seaweed aquaculture (Figure 2), and European oyster aquaculture.