Sultan Qaboos University
Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
The last 50 years of fouling research and management taught us that indiscriminate use of toxic approaches damages ecosystem services of estuaries and oceans critical to man’s existence. Next generation environmentally benign management requires knowledge of the fouling process and an understanding of the consequences of different management options. An intermediate step may be additives that fit with existing business models and distribution systems, but that carry a much reduced environmental footprint. Subsequently, the evolution of a next generation hull fouling management system with limited toxicity easy clean surfaces should replace or augment the existing commercial easy-release coatings. These new technologies require new business models and infrastructure. The path for a new commercial hull coating, from a concept to the actual product takes 25 to 35 years to complete. Major challenges include fitting in with existing business models and systems and meeting regulations. Leveraging on our experience in the development of additives as a case example, we offer a perspective on what the new fouling management systems might involve and discuss issues to be addressed as limited toxicity easy-clean coatings gain market share. As existing business cannot easily adapt to a different business model, evolution of new management solutions will require resources, a necessary long term perspective, and close working relationships between business and science to enable products in the global market.
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Rittschof, Daniel; Chai, Christina; Lay Ming Teo, Serena; and Maki, James, "Fouling and its next generation management: a perspective" (2015). Biological Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 622.
Published Version. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Vol. 20, (2015): 16-23. DOI. © 2015 Sultan Qaboos University. Used with permission.