their larvae into its waters, possibly establishing themselves in the
new port and spreading to nearby areas.
While ballast water is often the primary vector of transer for many species/regions, hull fouling is now recognized as an important AIS vector, introducing more AIS than ballast water in some regions. Hull fouling as a serious problem is not surprising, considering:
- The WSA that arrives into the U.S. annually is equivalent to 2.5 times the area of Washington, D.C. (438 sq km). 1
- 67% percent of this WSA comes from outside the U.S.1
- 70% of the 250 Australia's AIS2 and 74% of Hawaii's AIS3 arrived via biofouling.
- Vessels may contain large amounts biofouling - up to 90 tons.
- Simply cleaning the ship is not enough, as live organisms are often released into the water during this process (image at right).
1 Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
2 Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. 2005. AQIS Fact Sheet.
3 Godwin, L Scott (2003). Hull Fouling of Maritime Vessels as a Pathway for Marine Species Invasions to the Hawaiian Islands. Biofouling, 19 (1), 0892-7014.