Ecosystem Restoration: Enhancing Ecosystem Services with Floating Aquaculture


  • Daniel Rittschof Duke University Marine Laboratory, Nicholas School, Duke University, USA
  • Sergey Dobretsov Centre of Excellence in Marine Biotechnology, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman; Department of Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman



Restoration ecologists recognize the need for restoring ecosystem services in sustainable ways that meet societal needs. In the UK, Ireland, Australia, and some US states the goal is restoring native oyster reefs. In other states, failures at restoration due to poor water quality and predation have focused restoration activities on techniques that work, restoring intertidal reefs and generating living shorelines that reduce or reverse erosion. In the United States, restoring water quality and reducing or reversing erosion are societally accepted entry points for repairing estuarine ecosystems. This study is an overview of the current status of oyster reef restoration and provide a novel approach called “oyster reef in a bag”. Combining oyster reef restoration efforts with existing floating oyster aquaculture technology generates novel ecosystems that are a combination of biofouling and oyster reef communities. These novel ecosystems could be a practical beginning to improve water quality, mitigate erosion and restore higher trophic level ecosystem services.


Oyster reefs, Restoration ecology, Aquaculture, Restoration, Management, Novel ecosystems


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