Today the Port of Rotterdam placed four so-called bio-huts in Calandkanaal as a trial project. A bio-hut is an artificial habitat for juvenile fish.
This initiative is in line with the Port Authority’s goal of improving fish populations and water quality in the port area. The Port Authority is working in close partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature to create shallower banks in other parts of the port, to encourage spawning. This project goes by the name Green Port.
The bio-hut resembles a kind of double cage – a finely-meshed, three-dimensional latticework box. The cage is filled with shells that serve as a breeding ground for all sorts of organisms, which are an excellent food source for young fish. Fish that stay in the top cage are protected from predators. The bio-huts can be mounted on jetties and quays, but also fixed to the bottom of port basins. The bio-hut was developed and is marketed by the French company Ecocean. A number of trials, including one with 108 bio-huts in the port of Marseille, show that bio-huts have a positive impact on the underwater ecology.
Calandkanaal saw large-scale redevelopment over the past few months, including the installation of buoy and bollard configurations, a new LNG bunkering berth and seven new berths for inland vessels. An initiative that deserves special mention in this context is the construction of the ‘inland shipping berth of the future’. The trial with the bio-huts aligns very well with this project. The bio-huts can help to improve local fish stocks in the port. But of course, their manufacturer is also interested in finding out whether its design can survive the wide range of currents generated in the canal by passing container giants.
We are committed to ensuring that the port and its environs are safe, healthy and appealing. We aim to counter climate change while ensuring that the port area makes a significant contribution to Dutch prosperity and employment.