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Biofouling Growth in Cold Estuarine Waters and Evaluation of Some Chitosan and Copper Anti-Fouling Paints

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Author(s): Émilien Pelletier | Claudie Bonnet | Karine Lemarchand

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 10;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 3209;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: marine biofouling | copper antifouling paint | chitosan | static field testing | microalgae

ABSTRACT
Ecological concerns about antifouling paints containing non-green tin and copper compounds have highlighted the need for environmentally friendly alternatives. We report here a field test conducted in estuarine waters over two months designed to evaluate the efficiency of a number of active natural and man-made chemical ingredients added into a silicon-polyurethane marine paint. Early steps of biofouling in cold seawater of the St. Lawrence Estuary (Canada) were observed. Analyses, including dry biomass, flow cytometry and spectrofluorimetry, demonstrated a short-term antibacterial action of chitosan-based paints although no significant anti-algal action was observed. Cuprous oxide paints were efficient against bacteria and algae invasion in the first two weeks, especially those with added organic biocides such as isothiazolone and copper pyrithione. However, the overall dry biomass and chlorophyll a content were similar for all chitosan- and copper-based paints after 63 days. Microscopic observations revealed variation in the highly diverse benthic diatom population including species Navicula, Melosira, Cocconeis, Nitshzcia, Fragilaria and Amphora. Results suggest no real long-term efficiency for tested antifouling paints and highlight a particular need for green antifouling ingredients that are active under northern estuarine conditions.
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