News - February 14, 2019

Yerseke extends contract with shellfish sector

Albert Sikkema

WUR’s regional centre in Yerseke has extended its collaboration with the Zeeland shellfish and fisheries sector. Thirteen parties signed a new agreement on 6 February.

Mussels in the Zeeuwse delta. ©Oscar Bos

Among the signatories are Zeeland shellfish and fisheries companies, the province of Zeeland, state forest service Staatsbosbeheer, and the municipality of Reimerswaal.

The new agreement supersedes an agreement signed in 2016, with which WUR and regional partners breathed new life into the research centre in Yerseke. In the setup chosen at that time, the researchers no longer submit proposals, but formulate the research line in a couple of pages, together with the partners. The participants buy a number of project hours per year which they can redeem in the course of the year. This approach works very well, says programme manager Nathalie Steins of Wageningen Marine Research. ‘The research is now closer to the practitioners and enjoys more support in the mussel and fisheries sector.’

Research assignments
The signatories to the new agreement are investing over half a million euros per year in WUR’s marine research. That is 20 per cent of the regional centre’s research funding. Its other research assignments come from the ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food, and from Rijkswaterstaat (the Directorate General of Public Works and Water Management). In recent years, the regional centre in Yerseke has had an increasing number of assignments from Rijkswaterstaat and from regional partners, and its staff grew from 19 to 25.

Staatsbosbeheer has joined the ranks of the knowledge partners in this new agreement, because as a land use manager, it wants more consultation with the province of Zeeland and the shellfish industry.