EC contract COLL-CT-2003-500536-CRAB (Collective Research, FP6)
Start and Duration: June 2004 (36 months)
Co-ordinator: Peter Willemsen from TNO Science and Industry, Netherlands
Download CRAB flyer
immersed in the aquatic environment become biofouled when unwanted
aquatic organisms such as barnacles, tubeworms and seaweed settle and
grow on those surfaces. Biofouling is a complex and recurring problem
in all sectors of the European fish-farming industry.
Problem areas include biofouling on:
Immersed structures such as cages, netting and pontoons; equipment and
structures such as pipelines, pumps, filters and holding tanks.
- STOCK SPECIES: Farmed species, particularly shellfish such as mussels, scallops, oysters etc.
biofouling leads to significantly increased maintenance costs and
production losses (low growth/poorer quality). The cost of changing
nets on medium sized salmon farmers is for example €60000 per year.
estimates based on figures from the industry and the FAO suggest
biofouling on fish cages and shellfish costs the European industry
between 5 and 10% of the industry value (up to €260 million/year).
In some sectors the costs of manual cleaning of biofouled shellfish amounts to 20% of the product market value.
also reduces product value, currently tubeworm fouling of mussels
downgrades them from Class A (1300 Euro per tonne) to Class B (570 Euro
At a local level, periodic heavy fouling can be catastrophic reducing saleable product by 60-90%.