UK. Broads Authority trials environmentally friendly antifouling Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 June 2004
Press release:

The Broads Authority is trialling the effectiveness of environmentally friendly antifouling paint on the hulls of two of its navigation rangers' launches this summer as part of its research into pollution prevention on the Broads.

The slippery, biocide free polymer coat of SafeBoatSkin (R) paint is designed to improve boat speed as well as create an exceptionally smooth finish that makes it difficult for algae and mussels to get a grip.

The wax-based alternative to traditional antifouling paint is being trialled on motor launch Thurne at Wroxham and on motor launch Ant which patrols the brackish waters of Breydon Water.

New research is revealing that the use of antifouling paints containing tributyl tin compounds (TBT), copper and biocides, have contributed to the ecological decline of the Broads waterways. It is estimated that 20,000 litres of antifouling is used on Broads boats every year and very few boatyards and boat owners are aware of how to correctly dispose of the waste paint scrapings.

Andrea Kelly, Broads Authority Conservation Officer said: "Tests of this biocide free paint in Holland have shown a full season protection can be obtained from one treatment and we look forward to seeing how it fares in different waters on the Broads. If it is successful we would strongly urge boat owners to use it."

The Broads Authority is funding a PhD student at University College, London, to investigate the ecological impacts and concentration of toxic chemicals caused by antifouling paints on the Broads.

Antifouling paints work by creating a toxic barrier which prevents organisms attaching themselves to the hull, which would slow the boat down and reduce energy efficiency and manoeuvrability. The chemicals are toxic to water fleas, dragonfly and fish larvae, which, over time, may cause contamination to be passed up the food chain.

The Environment Agency classifies all antifouling paint as industrial controlled waste, and, depending on the strength of certain biocides, as hazardous or special waste. Thus, waste scrapings, must be disposed of at a licensed landfill site to safeguard groundwater resources.

The Broads Authority has produced a leaflet, which has been sent to boat owners and boatyards, giving guidance on the best way to use and dispose of antifouling paints.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 June 2004 )
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