The MARCOS projects aims to investigate and analyse the potential of LSOA (i) as “stand-alone” in dedicated areas, (ii) integrated in future offshore zones taking into account the multi-use philosophy and (iii) integrated in operational wind farms.
The results MARCOS want to achieve at first stage are defined as the identification of evaluation criteria, to be seen as quantitative criteria for the “window of opportunity” for LSOA in the Belgian Part of the North Sea. These quantitative criteria relate to met-ocean conditions, positioning at sea, potential wave attenuation, efficiency in function of met-ocean conditions, behaviour and change of survival in extreme and normal conditions, operational feasibility, ecological added value, economic feasibility, etc. to mention the most important elements.
Secondly MARCOS aims to increase the knowledge on the numerical modelling of large-scale mariculture offshore and more specific the impact of met-ocean conditions on the farm, but also assess the potential positive attenuation effect of the farm itself on the met-ocean conditions. The third result MARCOS want to achieve is to provide a summarising overview of design options by assessing mooring solutions, installation requirements and potential synergies and/or interactions with infrastructure used in wind farms today, e.g. foundations. These two results, i.e. hydrodynamic knowledge and design options, are strongly linked with the fourth result MARCOS wants to achieve. This is to assess the potential of different types of mariculture (e.g. mussels, seaweed, etc.) and how, from a production point of view, this large scale farm can look like. During the MARCOS project these aspects will be assessed for a number of test cases in the Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS). The fifth and summarising result MARCOS aims to provide is a roadmap or scoping document that synthesises the results, provides answers to the research questions of the project and defines the scope of future innovation projects that will support large scale aquaculture farm development in the future.