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Mini-review: Assessing the drivers of ship biofouling management – aligning industry and biosecurity goals

Davidson, I., Scianni, C., Hewitt, C., Everett, R., Holm, E., Tamburri, M. and Ruiz, G. (2016) Mini-review: Assessing the drivers of ship biofouling management – aligning industry and biosecurity goals. Biofouling, 32 (4). pp. 411-428.

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Biofouling exerts a frictional and cost penalty on ships and is a direct cause of invasion by marine species. These negative consequences provide a unifying purpose for the maritime industry and biosecurity managers to prevent biofouling accumulation and transfer, but important gaps exist between these sectors. This mini-review examines the approach to assessments of ship biofouling among sectors (industry, biosecurity and marine science) and the implications for existing and emerging management of biofouling. The primary distinctions between industry and biosecurity in assessment of vessels biofouling revolve around the resolution of biological information collected and the specific wetted surface areas of primary concern to each sector. The morphological characteristics of biofouling and their effects on propulsion dynamics are of primary concern to industry, with an almost exclusive focus on the vertical sides and flat bottom of hulls and an emphasis on antifouling and operational performance. In contrast, the identity, biogeography, and ecology of translocated organisms is of highest concern to invasion researchers and biosecurity managers and policymakers, especially as it relates to species with known histories of invasion elsewhere. Current management practices often provide adequate, although not complete, provision for hull surfaces, but niche areas are well known to enhance biosecurity risk. As regulations to prevent invasions emerge in this arena, there is a growing opportunity for industry, biosecurity and academic stakeholders to collaborate and harmonize efforts to assess and manage biofouling of ships that should lead to more comprehensive biofouling solutions that promote industry goals while reducing biosecurity risk and greenhouse gas emissions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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