How to manage biofouling spread for recreational boating – SAFETY4SEA – Safety4Sea

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The GloFouling Partnerships, led by the IMO and in collaboration with the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), World Sailing, and the International Union with regard to Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has published a new Biofouling Management for Recreational Boating Report.

T he aim of the particular report is to stop the spread of invasive aquatic species which can adhere to hulls and other areas of recreational craft by addressing how to manage biofouling.

The report provides an overview of invasive aquatic  species which are believed to have been introduced to different areas of the world through recreational boating. Current regulations plus guidance are presented, as well as an overview of anti-fouling paints.

It also includes guidance and posters for best practices in order to prevent the spread associated with invasive species and ensure biosecurity:

  • Guidance for all users of trailer boats, including equipment, and personal kit – Includes ski and wake boats, fishing boats, sailing dinghies, canoes, kayaks, windsurfers and SUPs.
  • Guidance for yachts plus motorboats – local coastal / estuary cruising – Includes boats of all sizes stored afloat for the season, in marinas, harbours or moorings.
  • Assistance for longer distance cruising or deliveries – Yachts and motorboats – Includes extended cruising and delivery trips between countries and continents, organised rallies plus solo adventures.
  • Guidance for Marinas, sailing clubs, boat wash down and slipways – Operators of these facilities have a crucial role to play in preventing the arrival and spread of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) by promotingood biofouling management practices.

As the IMO says, some species – like the killer Shrimp Dikerogammarus villosus – cannot survive in dry conditions, so “Check, Clean, Dry” has become the particular mantra in preventing their spread. The killer shrimp, native to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, has been introduced to waters in Norfolk in the United Kingdom – via a boat, windsurfer or even anglingear. It is larger than the local UK shrimp and is an aggressive hunter, feeding on native freshwater shrimp, damselflies, water boatmen as well as small fish and eggs.

Other species may be carried in larval form on clothing such as wetsuits. An example of this are the veligers (larvae) of quagga or zebra mussels. These mussels can litter beaches and decaying mussels produce a foul smell. The quagga mussel Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, originating in Ukraine, and is now in North America. This species was identified as the particular top-ranking invasive species threat to the United Kingdom.

EXPLORE MORE AT Imo’S REPORT ON biofouling

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