Monday, December 16, 2013

MOST WANTED: The UK's Top Marine Fouling Offenders

MOST WANTED: The UK’s Top Marine Fouling Offenders

From coral worm and hydroids to a simple slime layer, no boat owner is ever glad to see fouling species. Today we hone in on the UK’s worst offenders.

The Culprit: Riftia pachyptila
Nickname: Tubeworm
Favourite Hit Spots: Chichester Harbour; Shamrock Quay, Southampton
Crime: building without planning permission.
Despite their shell-like appearance, these creatures actually have soft bodies. At the larval stage, tubeworms protect themselves by building protective calcareous shells with can quickly (coral worm can spread in just 2 weeks) turn the bottom of your boat into an unsightly squatter settlement. These unruly shelters exploit the slimy layer of weed fouling below them, which they treat as effort-free foundations.
If Seen: contact your marina manager or harbourmaster immediately. In the past, Chichester Marina was forced to lower its prices for lift-outs, which were needed at extremely short notice due to excessive fouling. And the tubeworm has been spotted moving up the coast!

The Culprit: Cirripedia
Nickname: Barnacle spats
Favourite Hit Spots: East Coast Rivers, especially the Thames and the Blackwater; Littlehampton; Oban; Largs
Crime: child neglect. Blame the parents for them littering your vessel. Baby barnacles dominate this form of shell fouling, clinging to boat surfaces like it was their elusive mother. If the mother stuck around, perhaps they’d be better behaved, and wouldn’t trespass.
If Seen: hope that it’s not on your boat! On unprotected boats, these youths are a nightmare to remove, but you don’t need us to tell you that.

The Culprit: Hydroidia
Nickname: hydroids, filter feeders
Favourite Hit Spots:
Crime: fraud. Don’t be fooled by their have branches and leaves, hydroids are actually carnivorous animals. Related to jellyfish, sea anemones and corals, they come from a long line of relatives that are masters of disguise. Masquerading as weed fouling on boat surfaces, these organisms have no shame in pejorating the already struggling reputation of marine algae.
If Seen: congratulations, you’ve got a good eye! However, don’t be tempted to touch them.  Just as their ribbon-like cousins would, hydroids often sting other animals on contact.

Of course, you could just protect your boat with the Aquacote system, and free yourself from worries of these marine offenders.

For more information, visit our website, or tweet us @Aquacote using the hashtag #FreedomFromFouling.

1 comment:

Share your thoughts