BE SURE THERE IS A GENUINE PROBLEM BEFORE YOU START TO DEBATE THE MERITS OF THE CURE!
I have been through the Australians governments own research
, examined independent university studies and IMO for facts on Bio-fouling.
There is much miss-information on this subject. Lets do some myth busting here.
The idea that transported specie has some advantage over locals is false. The extreme opposite is true. A local that has been successful in their environment
and is present in large numbers is going to be very difficult for an exotic to knock off. The odds are way in favour of the local.
The idea that a specie can transport in even small quantity and prosper on a new shore. Again, the extreme opposite is true. Marine organisms reproduce in a non selective manner. Typically, they cast their seed to the current
. They rely on established numbers of candidates to receive.
Further, it is very rare to find an unoccupied territory.
No where in the research
I have examined is there one proven example of a yacht causing a transport of a marine pest. Ships are a far different story.
HEY BC Mike… the zebra mussel came to North America in the bilge
water of A Russian ship that had come from the Caspian Sea. The IMO has a protocol regarding discharge of bilge
Yachts tend to take on the biota of their local waters. This is shown again and again even in the governments own research. It seems reasonable to assume from that fact that the size of the mass on a yacht is just not large enough to sustain an exotic as the yacht slowly moves through various water temperatures and salinity levels.
A study done in New Zealand a few years ago, surveyed the fouling on some visiting yachts and an LPG tanker in the same harbour. The yachts showed some fouling but nothing noted as a threat or exotic. The ship was another matter. I quote from the report; “25 species were identified. Almost all the species present were exotic, most were alive and many were reproductively viable.” They also gave their estimate of the amount of fouling, 11 KG per square metre of hull!! Tons of the stuff. That’s enough to give a bug a start.
It gets worse! Ships have been able to use anti-foul that has been off limits to poor yachties. Tributyltin, the hot stuff, is now being removed from shipping
by the IMO because it was a well known threat to the environment. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
The Australian Government
of late has a record
of legislation that sounds good at a glance but there be devil in the detail. I fear this new one is more about establishing precedent than concern for the environment, a red herring to divert attention away from matters where the gov really has been negligent and yachties are such a soft target.
The article in TCP (free download from www.thecoastalpassage
) in issue # 17 has much more information and also, I have more info since that printing that furthers the case I make above. I could clog this forum but…