Bio-builders for a more resilient coast

Can mussel reefs help us increase the resilience of the Belgian coast? The partners in the Coastbusters project figured it out and presented their findings during the Coastbusters Day. The project's final report is now also available online.
16 October 2023

For six years, the partners in the Coastbusters project have been researching the possibility of using mussel reefs to better protect our coast. Now there is finally a promising concept on the table.

Mussel shaker

One of the innovative elements in the concept is the so-called mussel shaker. This is essentially a submerged buoy with ropes on which mussels grow. Over time, the shaker shakes off the mussels, creating a biogenic mussel reef on the bottom.

Environmental gains

Monitoring of the research sites has shown that mussel reefs attract a lot of additional marine life and therefore have a positive impact on biodiversity. In addition, mussels filter their nutrients from the water, making the seawater slightly cleaner.

© Coastbusters / ILVO / VLIZ / Blue Cluster

Added value creation

The new concept is unique in the world and a prime example of Flemish innovation. Since mussels can be found almost everywhere in the world, mussel reefs can be used universally as a more natural form of coastal protection.


Coastbusters is a Blue Cluster innovation project with Jan De Nul, DEME, Sioen, ILVO and VLIZ as partners. The project receives financial support from the Flemish government through VLAIO.

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