Why is biofouling such a big problem for the marine industry?

Home / About Selektope® / The Biofouling Issue

What are the consequences of barnacle fouling?

When attached to a ship’s hull, barnacles has a negative impact on the hydrodynamic drag, the hard shells cause increased friction between the hull and water, which is directly related to increased fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Present in all marine and brackish waters, once they are established these crustaceans attract other barnacles to form colonies.

Only minor coverage of barnacle foulings on the hull may lead to thousands of dollars in fuel penalty every day.

west coast barnacles
image one

What is marine biofouling?

Biofouling is the term used to describe the accumulation of marine organisms on the surface of submerged nature and artificial structures.

What are barnacles?

Barnacles occur globally in all different types of water and have been studied long back in history. Barnacles are a highly specialised group of crustaceans. Initially, barnacles produce larvae. During their larva life stage, they are still mobile and facilitate further distribution. After the first so-called nauplius larvae, a seventh non-feeding larva develops: the cyprid. This is the stage which settles on a new substrate.

Where is barnacle fouling most prevalent?

Although marine biofouling and barnacles occurs in all oceans, the fouling risk is different in different areas. In general, tropical or sub-tropical waters are considered high risk areas with rapid growth and settlement of organisms. With average global water temperatures increasing, high risk fouling is expanding, covering larger areas.

The biofouling on a ship can also be influenced by a range of other factors, such as: design and construction, speed, idling periods, sunlight, nutrients and maintenance.

The Selektope® biotechnology is a vital ingredient in the antifouling mix to eradicate hard fouling, ensuring continually clean hulls, optimal business and environmental performance.

Why are antifouling coatings needed?

Implementing practices to manage biofouling will assist in saving fuel and costs, reducing the risk of transferring invasive aquatic species, improve ship performance and reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Antifouling coatings are necessary to protect a ship’s hull from marine organisms attaching. Ship owners need marine coating solutions that deliver fouling prevention for vessels with differing activity levels, shipping routes and construction. The antifouling coating needs to be persistent whether the vessel is in constant active service or idling in warm waters.

Selektope is an ingredient technology for antifouling coatings. Selektope has a specific non-lethal repellent effect on barnacle larvae, which hinders settling on substrates such as the ship hull.

Read more about how Selektope can be used on ships.

Paint manufacturers

For paint manufacturers

Push the boundaries of coating innovation.

Ship managers

For ship owners & shipyards

Unlock the benefits.

Latest News & Blog
21 maj 2021 Niche Areas

The True Effects of Niche Area Fouling (& How to Solve Them)

The True Effects of Niche Area Fouling (& How to Solve Them) In our latest research-led blog, w...
21 maj 2021 insights

2020 and Beyond: Supporting the shipping industry in a year of crisis

2020 and beyond: Supporting the shipping industry in a year of crisis The impact of 2020 on the mari...
12 maj 2021 News

I-Tech recruits new Formulation Engineer

I-Tech expands the team with a new Formulation Engineer strengthening R&D from April 2021. ...
22 jan 2021 Niche Areas

Biofouling & Niche Areas: Managing an Expanding Issue

Marine biofouling build-up on ship hulls and submerged niche areas may also be out of sight and out ...

Sign up to get latest Selektope® news and updates directly to your inbox.