Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-35
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
22 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
Low salinity as a biosecurity tool for minimizing biofouling in ships sea-chests
Maria Cecilia T. Castro1,2,3, Thomas Vance4, Anna L. E. Yunnie4, Timothy W. Fileman4, and Jason M. Hall-Spencer2,5 1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, United Kingdom
2School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom
3Directorate of Ports and Coasts, Navy of Brazil, Rua Teófilo Otoni, 4, CEP 20090-070, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil
4PML Applications Ltd, Prospect Place, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, United Kingdom
5Shimoda Marine Research Centre, University of Tsukuba, 5-10-1 Shimoda City, Shizuoka 415-0025, Japan
Abstract. Biofouling is a major vector in the transfer of non-native species around the world. Species can be transported on virtually all submerged areas on ships (e.g. hulls, sea-chests, propellers) and so antifouling systems are used to reduce fouling. However, with increased regulation of biocides used in antifoulants (e.g. the International Maritime Organization tributyltin ban in 2008), there is a need to find efficient and sustainable alternatives. Here, we tested the hypothesis that short doses of low salinity water could be used to kill fouling species in sea-chests. Settlement panels were suspended at 1.5 m depth in a Plymouth marina for 24 months by which time they had developed mature biofouling assemblages. We exposed these panels to three different salinities (7 psu, 20 psu and 33 psu) for two hours using a model sea chest placed in the marina and flushed with freshwater. Fouling organism diversity and abundance was assessed before panels were treated, immediately after treatment, and then one week and one month later. Some native ascidian Dendrodoa grossularia survived, but all other macrobenthos were killed by the 7 PSU treatment after one week. The 20 PSU treatment was not effective at killing the majority of fouling organisms. On the basis of these results we propose that sea-chests be flushed with freshwater for at least two hours before ships leave port. This would not cause unnecessary delays or costs and could be a major step forwards in improving biosecurity.
Citation: Castro, M. C. T., Vance, T., Yunnie, A. L. E., Fileman, T. W., and Hall-Spencer, J. M.: Low salinity as a biosecurity tool for minimizing biofouling in ships sea-chests, Ocean Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-35, in review, 2018.
Maria Cecilia T. Castro et al.
Maria Cecilia T. Castro et al.
Maria Cecilia T. Castro et al.

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Short summary
Biofouling results from the colonization process of bacteria, algae or immobile animals over natural or man-made surfaces at the sea. Biofouling affects ships performance negatively and usual practices to avoid it are related to the use of biocides to intoxicate or prevent the adherence of these organisms. Here we demonstrated that the use of low salinity for short period of times can effectvely kill these organisms if incorporated in vessel operation and wouldn't cause unnecessary delay or cost.
Biofouling results from the colonization process of bacteria, algae or immobile animals over...
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