Impacts of Marine Biofouling Flashcards Preview

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Facts about the size of the shipping fleet

… over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea ...” IMO

50,000 ships in the global merchant fleet of over 100 gross tons
Fishing and naval vessels not included

Ships are getting much much bigger 

  • The latest giant of the seas, the MSC Gülsün, has docked in Europe after its first voyage from northern China set a  record for container ships
  • The 400 metres (1,312ft) vessel is longer than 36 London buses and can transport 23,576 standard 20ft long shipping containers - known as “TEUs” (Twenty Foot Equivalent units)


Why is the wetted area of ships important?

- can be biofouled 

- 352 km2 - 1 trillion barnacles 


What are the differences between a non-indigenous and a non-native species?

A non-native species (NNS) is a species that has been introduced into the country by human intervention (either deliberately or accidentally) since the end of the last ice age (approx ten thousand years ago). The term 'non-native species' is synonymous with alien, non-indigenous, foreign and exotic. 

U.S. federal definition of invasive species (an invasive species is "…an alien (or non-native) species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health"). - predicted to have an impact 


Roughly what percentage of marine invasives are caused by hull fouling in comparison to ballast?

  • North America 70% 
  • New Zealand 69%


What Tony paper compares hull and ballast water fouling? 

(Chan et al, 2018) Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

'Relative importance of vessel hull fouling and ballast water as transport vectors of non-indigenous species to the Canadian Arctic.'

Set out to compare the impact of hull fouling in comparison to ballast water.
Risk of non-indigenous species being invasive is more prominent on ship hull fouling.



Cost to GB of marine invasive species

£25 million cost of marine invasives to the UK per year 


Wildlife and countryside act - which were considered invasive?

Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 concerned with 111 potentially invasive species
Of these, only nine could be considered potentially marine fouling species.


EU list of priority species 

Species that are often introduced but have not as yet proliferated in UK waters, for example

  • Carpet sea squirt – huge problems around the world and the us 
  • Titan barnacle – a recent addition to the marine invasive species, but is now the fastest spreading marine invasive around the world, a west Indian species noted in Florida and has now spread to North Carolina over a few years. Grows from 5 - 7 cm causing a large amount of drag - pops up a lot in disputes between boat owners and hirers.


What invasive is a particular problem because it is resistant to antifouling paints?  

Bryozoan Watersipora spp are copper tolerant so can grow on biocidal coating and other things can then grow on top of them. 
Fouling release coatings – they are quite low growing so are not easily removed in this way either. 


Ice retreat opens Arctic route

Sea ice retreat is opening up a Northern Sea Route – save 14 days of travelling, rather than going through the suez canal.

Article - shipping up 40 % on Northern Route. Need legislation in place.  



What international regulation has been put in place for ballast water management?

In terms of regulation 2017 – this international conference for ballast water management came into force, no equivalent for hull fouling? 

Guidelines have been introduced and adopted in some parts of the world. 

IMO introduced guidelines aimed at minimizing the transfer of potentially invasive species in 2011, 
Some countries are not waiting!  - California, Australia and New Zealand.  


Biofouling regulations in California.

Not so strict but needs a record of what the ship operators are doing in terms of biofouling management. 

  • Vessels > 300 GRT
  • From 1st January 2018
  • Require Biofouling Management Plan and Biofouling Record Book. 


  • Maintaining consistency with IMO Biofouling Guidelines
  • Describe the management strategy for the vessel
  • Description of niche area practices


Biofouling regulations in Australia. 

Stricter than California but has not refused entry to vessels - economical impact.

The department is currently assessing the impact new biofouling standards would have on operators with a view to establishing a clear framework that operators can use to manage the risks associated with biofouling on vessels. We will consult our stakeholders on the development of biofouling regulations during 2018.
While that work is completed, the department is assessing vessels suspected to have an unacceptable level of biofouling on a case by case basis.


New Zealand - biofouling 

Hot on this 

Introduced its own standards - Craft Risk Management Standard for Biofouling (CRMS).

Came into effect 15th May 2018

Port for 20 days - heading to a port of the first arrival

  • Allowed a slime layer and goose barnacles and early-stage fouling - will not be reproductive in the time they are in port.  
  • Goose barnacles are oceanic barnacles and are not considered a coastal threats 
  • Other barnacles tubeworms and bryozoans allowed on as they are not considered to be a threat in this time 

Over 21 days / not heading to forth arrival port - no other fouling is allowed


What are niche areas on a ship? 

Niche areas on a commercial vessel where biofouling can accumulate

  • Sea chest - water intake or ballast and engine cooling 
  • Bow thrusters 
  • Propellers 

Conditions are quite different than the hull - tend to be hotspots for biofouling 

'People were going to die': submarine crew trapped in searing heat after a catastrophic systems failure

Dozens of crew members were trapped on a Royal Navy nuclear submarine in 60C heat after the air conditioning system failed, forcing HMS Turbulent to dive to 200m to cool down


Fouling from things other than ships hulls. 

  • Sesimic streamers - used for looking for oil. They extend for km and attract stalked barnacles - thinking they are whales. 
  • Aquaculture – big issue 
  • Sensors
  • Tidal turbines 
  • Power station cooling water intake


The drag penalty 

Biofouling > Increased frictional resistance > Increased fuel consumption > Increased gaseous emissions 

Schultz M P et al. (2011) Biofouling - worked out for a class of American destroyer. 

Fouling conditions used by divers for the US navy determine whether a ship should be cleaned. 

  • Heavy calcareous fouling – 15 knots – 76 %. 
  • A light slime can increase up to about 10%. 
  • Diatom fouling 1.5 to 10%. 


Cost to the ship per year in fouling 

USS Arleigh Burke - US destroyer 

  • FR-30 (heavy slime) = 10.3% increase in fuel consumption = $1.2 million/ship/year
  • FR-60 (small calcareius fouling) = 20.4% increase in fuel consumption = $2.3 million/ship/year

US fleet - 2-4 bn per year.



Emissions from ships 

Ships – bunker fuel – move to diesel 
UN - all new vessels by 2030 not to use hydrocarbons 
IMO - 

For the period 2007–2012, on average, shipping accounted for approximately 3.1% of annual global CO2 and approximately 2.8% of annual GHGs on a CO2e basis (Third IMO GHG study 2014). 

Hotspots where particulate matter is really high. 


IMO - INitial IMO strategy for reducing GHG emissions from Ships.

Strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions from ships 

Part of strategy - to ensure fouling is controlled on vessels so they don't have to burn more fuel.

From 1 January 2020 the global upper limit on the sulphur content of ships' fuel oil will be reduced to 0.50% (from 3.50%). Known as "IMO 2020", the reduced limit is mandatory for all ships operating outside certain designated Emission Control Areas*, where the limit is already 0.10%.

The new limit will mean a 77% drop in overall SOx emissions from ships, equivalent to an annual reduction of approximately 8.5 million metric tonnes of SOx. Particulate matter - tiny harmful particles which form when fuel is burnt – will also be reduced.

As a result, reductions in stroke, asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases are expected. Cutting sulphur emissions from ships will also help prevent acid rain and ocean acidification, benefitting crops, forests and aquatic species.

The new limit is part of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form ships (MARPOL), a key environmental treaty under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the United Nations specialized agency responsible for developing and adopting standards for preventing pollution from ships, as well as shipping safety and efficiency, and maritime security. 

The decision to cut the global limit for sulphur in ships fuel oil to 0.50% was made in 2008 and confirmed again in October 2016



What emissions do ships create aside from fuel?

Biocide from coatings - release into the environment

Cradle to grave - Bangladesh and India shipbreaking