Action: Use non-toxic antifouling coatings on surfaces
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of using non-toxic antifouling coatings on surfaces on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Antifouling paints and coatings are commonly used to manage biofouling (organisms that can attach to hard surfaces) on aquaculture structures (cages, nets, ponds) and other hard anthropogenic structures. However, some antifouling paints and coatings are highly toxic to marine organisms. Trybutyltin (TBT) for instance was widely used on vessels but found to be highly harmful to marine invertebrates, such as the dog whelk Nucella lapillus (Alzieu 2000; Gibbs et al. 2009) and so the use of this substance was banned (for evidence on the restriction of TBT, see “Threat: Pollution – Restrict the use of tributyltin or other toxic antifouling coatings”). Using non-toxic antifouling coatings instead of more traditional coatings may reduce the risk of toxicity to subtidal benthic invertebrates (Magin et al. 2010).
Alzieu C. (2000) Impact of tributyltin on marine invertebrates. Ecotoxicology, 9, 71-76.
Gibbs P.E., Bryan G.W., Pascoe P.L. & Burt G.R. (2009) The use of the dog-whelk, Nucella lapillus, as an indicator of tributyltin (TBT) contamination. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 67, 507.
Magin C.M., Cooper S.P. & Brennan A.B. (2010). Non-toxic antifouling strategies. Materials Today, 13, 36-44.