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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Vessel encapsulation devices

​Using a vessel encapsulation device on your boat will kill the organisms that have biofouled the hull. In addition to improving your vessel’s efficiency and fuel usage by up to 20 per cent, you will also be helping to protect the marine environment from invasive marine pests.

Using a vessel encapsulation device on a boat

a boat wrapped by a vessel encapsulation device

Images courtesy of Biosecurity South Australia

How does it work?

A vessel encapsulation device will kill marine growth, reducing the risk of the spread of marine pests. However, dead mussel and barnacle shells may remain, so you will still need to slip your boat to clean it, do repairs or replace anti-fouling coating.

Vessel encapsulation devices can also be used for emergency situations when a new pest to the area has been found attached to a vessel and needs to be urgently prevented from spreading.

How long does a vessel encapsulation device take to work?

In vessel encapsulation device trials in South Australia in the middle of winter, all biofouling growth was dead after two weeks. In warmer conditions, the vessel encapsulation device is expected to work even quicker.

How can I access a vessel encapsulation device?

We have been testing vessel encapsulation devices on the hulls of small vessels (up to 15 m in length), to determine their effectiveness in WA conditions. We are currently assessing the results and, if successful, it’s expected vessel encapsulation devices will be available for hire at marinas throughout the State.

What you can do to help prevent the spread of potential marine pests

  1. Slip and clean your boat and gear regularly – check for marine growth build-up before you move the boat to another area. Dispose of marine growth so it can’t get back into the water.
  2. Maintain trailered boats onshore – check for marine growth, rinse the boat with fresh water and dispose of all waste onshore.
  3. For boats moored in water, regularly apply and maintain an appropriate anti-fouling coating.
  4. Regularly treat and clean internal seawater systems as they can harbour small pests.
  5. Keep maintenance records to help in marine pest emergencies.
  6. Comply with requirements if emergency pest management measures are declared.
  7. Report suspected marine pests.

T: FishWatch 1800 815 507

Last modified: 22/03/2013 9:54 AM



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