Recent studies have shown that Antifouling boat paint may be harmful to Marine life.
Antifouling is popular marine vessel paint, and widely used on yachts and boats. It discourages the buildup of barnacles, algae, weed, slime, shell fouling and other water life on the hull. It is a common practice to scrape the bottom and recoat the hull with Antifouling paint every few years.
Antifouling paint is usually made using copper designed to leach into waterways. The issue of copper contamination from anti-fouling paint has been investigated worldwide. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research of New Zealand have found that copper levels in many New Zealand marinas are above the guidelines for protecting marine life. Washington is the first state in the United States to ban copper-based bottom paint on recreational vessels. California is one of many states that will soon join the group of outlawing Antifouling paint. Because of these studies, the US Coast Guard has switched from a copper-based solution to the more environmental friendly EPaint.
A ban on Antifouling boat paint is supported by the marine industry, as well as environmental groups alike. It’s considered environmentally and socially responsible to move away from any product or application that is damaging to the environment.
You can do your part to reduce toxic discharges from bottom paints as well. Minimize the discharge of copper in soft-sloughing Antifouling paints by using a less toxic, or nontoxic Antifouling paint. Use only non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques to prevent excessive paint discharge. Also remember, dry storage reduces the need for Antifouling paints and is more cost effective in the long run.