Biofouling is defined as the accumulation of organisms on a substrate. All materials exposed to water often suffer from this phenomenon. Its economic importance lies, for example, in its impact on oil rigs and aquaculture cages. Because the weight generated by the accumulation of organisms increases the tension in the structures and anchoring systems. In addition, their presence reduces hydrodynamic to the hulls of the boats which is seen negatively reflected in the efficiency of the fuel consumption.
The process of colonization usually is by succession steps, beginning with the settlement of the biofilm, followed by the gradual development of the macro-benthic species:
- Biofilm (bacteria, cyanobacteria and diatoms)
- Filaments green seaweed
- Turf of red algae and coffees
- Sessile animals (such as invertebrate larvae)
- Mobile animals of bentos and epibentos
- Commensals, parasites and pathogens
The composition of the communities of biofouling, their recruitment, colonization and succession, vary according to the locality and within this great category by the physical and biological environment. Within the physical environment varies by factors such as hydrography, temperature, light and salinity, in addition to the available substrate. On the other hand, within the biological environment varies by factors such as primary productivity.
For this reason the first step to develop specific strategies to combat biofouling should be to conduct baseline study focused on the description of the site. As well as the description of the macro-bêntic communities present in the structures.
- Environmental consultancy specializing in biofouling for aquaculture farms
- Baseline study, includes physical and biological description of the site and identification of species
- Annual study focused on developing effective strategies to combat the particular case of biofouling