In-water cleaning can manage biofouling to optimise the performance of vessels and other movable structures and to minimise biosecurity risks. However, in-water cleaning can physically damage some antifouling coatings, shorten coating service life and release a pulse of biocide into the environment.
In-water cleaning can also facilitate release of marine pests into the surrounding environment.
In-water cleaning should therefore only be undertaken when removal of biofouling does not harm the coating and presents an acceptable biosecurity or contaminant risk as determined by the relevant authority.
The Department of Fisheries is the lead agency for aquatic biosecurity in Western Australia. Its policies relating to in-water cleaning are currently under review.
For advice on in-water cleaning, please email email@example.com
NB – the Department’s Guidelines for the in-water treatment of vessels in Western Australian waters have been withdrawn.