First trip with Sea Rangers Service & Vriezoo BV
The first offshore ROV-test at our North Sea Innovation Lab is a fact! Together with Sea Ranger Service and the ROV-team from Vriezoo BV, we went to visit our offshore lab by sailing ship Fantastiko. Thanks to the ROV, we were able to look at our seaweeds swaying in the currents, while staying high and dry on board. This may seem luxurious, but holds amazing potential for future farmers. These Remote Operated Vehicles - you may remember one from the intro of Titanic, the movie - can be a great tool for monitoring a sea farm from a distance. It can relief seafarmers from visiting the farm every day; with just one look at the ROV-footage the farmer can see how the crop is doing.
The technology of ROV already exists, but until now is had not been tested for seaweed inspection. More precise: it had never been tested from a sail ship. So it is safe to say the test was a memorable moment for us! Apart from some small challenges, like navigating with the increasing current, the test was a success: we got our underwater farm module on the screen at the ship and were able to see that the new cultivation concept was working properly. Plus: launching the ROV from a sail ship was no problem. Test? Passed!
This test also is a great next step in working together with the like-minded Sea Rangers Service. Last year, we partnered up with them, because they can assist in – for instance – managing marine areas, conduct marine research and help offshore monitoring in the blue economy. We, as North Sea Farm foundation, are very curious to see if a sail ship is suited to visit sea farms and perform the needed monitoring. Can this potentially be a service for future seafarers en multi-use farms? Based on the findings of today, we’re excited for more.