Methods to prevent and treat biofouling in shellfish aquaculture

Biofouling in bivalve aquaculture can cause economic losses for the industry. Therefore, strategies such as avoidance, prevention and treatment to minimise biofouling are key. The type of rope used to collect spat or grow bivalves can prevent or reduce fouling by harmful species, but this method largely remains untested. Additionally, a range of eco-friendly treatment measures also exist, but their effect on common biofoulers are unknown. Researchers from the University of Melbourne tested biofouling accumulation and spat collection for seven commercially used ropes with ambient and heated seawater, acetic and citric acid, and combinations of both applied across a range of exposure times to two commercially grown shellfish and three biofouling species. They found that rope type and treatment type were successful on some biofouling species without adversely affecting shellfish.

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