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FutureMARES oyster research featured in German TV production on biodiversity in the EU

Brenda Walles (HZ), Pauline Kamermans (WUR) and their students were interviewed by a production company and accompanied during their work in the Oosterschelde tidal flats.

Students walking through the tidal flats of the Oosterschelde
The students were filmed making their way to the oyster banks

What does the EU do to protect biosiversity? This question was asked by the German science TV program "NANO" in the context of their series about the upcoming European elections in June 2024. The episode of the TV program focussed on EU research projects working towards improved biodiversity conservation and restoration, and FutureMARES was one of the three projects featured in the clip. Brenda Walles (HZ University of Applied Science) and Pauline Kamermans (WUR) gave interviews explaining the importance of oyster reefs as indicators for marine biodiversity and the field work performed by the students. The field work site is an artificial oyster reef located in the Oosterschelde in the Dutch Wadden Sea.

Researchers walking through the Oosterschelde tidal flats
Brenda Walles an her students on their way to the field work site
Two students kneeling in the oyster bank and doing research
The students analyse the species found in a specific section of the oyster reef

Due to the strong tidal differences in the Oosterschelde, there was only a short time frame for field work and filming. Brenda and the students met the TV crew before preparing for their research and walked out to the tidal flats together.

"The reef is fragmented", Brenda explains. "Some areas are broken, but others are still intact and give room for biodiversity growth." Pauline goes on to explain that the higher the biodiversity is, the larger is the chance that species can compensate for each other in case of environmental change and changes in the species composition.

Two women talking in the Wadden Sea
Pauline Kamermans and Brenda Walles discussing their work in FutureMARES

All in all, the short documentation concludes that - despite efforts like FutureMARES - there is a lot of work left to do in Europe to tackle the enormous task of protecting the biodiversity that is the foundation of life for all of us.

Watch the full clip here (German only):

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