The Issue

The introduction and establishment of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) is considered to be one of the greatest threats to the world’s freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. Due to some competitive advantage such as the absence of natural predators, some non-indigenous species (plants, algae, fish, microorganisms, etc.) known as IAS have become dominant and disrupted the biodiversity of their newly adopted habitat.

The main vectors for unintentional transfer of non-indigenous species are biofouling of mobile marine structures, aquaculture, and ships’ ballast water.
Furthermore, biofouling on ships’ hulls increases hull surface roughness, which in turn increases frictional resistance and ultimately increases fuel consumption and total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Biofouling also affects the emerging marine renewable energy structures, such as tidal, wave and wind-based. Biofouling can impair the performance of these structures and increase corrosion increasing the risk of structural damage.