Factsheet Schellfish reefs
Once, shellfish reefs covered about 20% of the North Sea floor, but diseases, pollution and overfishing have led to a significant decline. As part of the Haringvliet Dream Fund Project, ARK Nature and the World Wildlife Fund are working on shellfish reef restoration. Shellfish, such as mussels and flat oysters, filter the water and are food for fish and birds. The reefs formed by shellfish provide shelter and nursery grounds for many marine animals, and serve as attachment substrate for plants and sessile invertebrates such as anemones. They also play an important role in natural coastal protection.