It’s that time of year again! Boat owners up and down the country will be bringing their boats out of hibernation and inspecting their hulls in preparation for the new season. Many boaters may be considering scrubbing off the old anti-foul and re-applying – cue ‘Collect, Protect, Dispose!’
The Green Blue is dedicating the 16th-20th March to promoting anti-fouling best practice with their campaign, ‘Collect, Protect, Dispose.’ Across the week, the environmental awareness initiative will be sharing handy tips on both their social media pages and website detailing how you can make your anti-fouling as sustainable as possible.
Anti-fouling paints are, by their nature, a hazardous chemical mixture that is applied to prevent the build-up of marine organisms on the hull of a boat. Many anti-foul paints contain quantities of copper or zinc which, although helps preserve the hull from unwanted growth, can also poison and contaminate the surrounding marine life and their habitats.
All boat owners can play a vital role in minimising the risk to marine life from being inadvertently affected by anti-foul, particularly during the maintenance stage of the process. It is hoped that the ‘Collect, Protect, Dispose’ campaign will raise awareness that remnants, such as copper scrapings and paint dust, travelling into the local sea during maintenance can be easily avoided if simple actions are taken by the boat owner.
There are of course, many benefits of applying anti-foul paint and some of them are environmental. A hull which has been kept clean by anti-foul for instance, reduces the drag on a boat and therefore improves the boat’s fuel efficiency. Another environmental advantage is that anti-foul can reduce the inadvertent transportation of invasive marine species from one area to another – a biodiversity issue which can cause major disruption to our ecosystem. Well maintained anti-foul coating also preserves a boat’s hull and increases the longevity of the vessel.
Throughout the week The Green Blue will be sharing top anti-fouling tips and facts – they will also be asking for your recommendations and anti-fouling experiences – good or bad! Don’t forget to follow The Green Blue on social media, Facebook and Twitter: @TheGreenBlue and Instagram: @the_green_blue and use #CollectProtectDispose