ARC Marine’s vision is to become the industry leaders in marine eco-engineering and conservation projects. We aim to combine academic institutes with commercial subsea infrastructure and development to build vast, sustainable and complex marine habitats for the benefit of both the marine environment and the future of mankind’s development.
Our vision is shared by the EU and other countries worldwide in creating long-term sustainable seas. We are collaborating with academic organisations to build on cutting edge research and develop a new generation of academics that are proactive in advancing sustainable marine developments throughout the UK and overseas.
Why are we doing this?
In this modern world, we know now the importance of conserving our marine environment and the benefits that come with it. Currently, only 1.2% of our oceans are protected.
Our oceans are by far the largest carbon “sink” in the world. Some 93 % of CO2 is stored in algae, vegetation and coral under the sea (worldwatch institute).
Commercial fishing is extremely vulnerable where 53% of the world’s fisheries are full exploited, and 32% are over exploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.
The European Union is the world’s largest maritime territory and marine resources make a significant contribution to each Member State’s economic prosperity and social well being.
In July 2008 the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was formally adopted by the European Union. The overall goal of the Directive is to achieve ‘Good Environmental Status’ (GES) by 2020 across Europe’s marine environment (JNCC DEFRA).
In 2015, the UK produced outlines of their program’s measures that will contribute to the achievement and maintenance of GES. ARC Marine aims to help the UK achieve the EU requirements and lead the world in ocean regeneration.
Maximizing the reef effect at offshore wind farms
Globally there has been a trend of habitat modification and biodiversity loss since pre-industrial times as a result of human activity. This is especially so around European coastlines, where complex marine habitats like oyster beds and rocky reefs have been modified to less productive, sediment based states. Around wind farms the opposite effect is occurring whereby new habitats are being created around cables and foundations. Rocks are added to these areas to protect the wind farms subsea infrastructure but there has been an unintended positive effect on the diversity and amount of life around them.
This reef effect is well documented but could be boosted with a more considered design. That’s why we have taken engineering and ecological design principles; and placed them at the heart of Reef Cubes® development. Abiding by these principles means that we are confident in meeting the requirements of developers and marine organisms. This is how we plan to optimise the alterations that wind farms make to marine ecosystems. Truly, it would be a beautiful legacy; if we could create flourishing underwater communities alongside the generation of clean energy.