August 3, 2023 | Circular No. 11569

Dear Member,

Vessels calling the ports of Vancouver, Halifax, and Hamilton this fall may be approached by a team from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with a request to participate in research about biofouling (living organisms accumulating) on ship hulls. As part of the Federation’s commitment to support sound scientific work on aquatic invasive species carried out in Canada, we request your assistance in facilitating these surveys, when operationally and commercially feasible.

Previous research has shown that biofouling on vessels can have significant ecological and economic effects, from increasing fuel consumption of a vessel, to detrimental effects on environment, human health, and property if these species are established in new habitats. The aim of this study is to update and improve information on biofouling to cover a wide range of vessel types, transit patterns, and anti-fouling technologies, which will in turn support risk assessments.

Please note that this is a scientific in nature, and your participation is voluntary. The survey is not related to regulatory/ Port State inspections, and identifying information (names of vessels, companies, and agents) will be kept confidential.

Participation will involve: allowing a scientific survey team (2-3 scientific personnel and 4 professional divers) access to a vessel to perform a hull biofouling survey, a ship officer completing a short survey, and providing information relating to the vessel’s most recent dry dock and antifouling paint application. In total, the hull survey will take 2- 5 hours. The team leader from DFO will identify themselves to the Master and coordinate all activities with a designated officer to avoid interfering with ship operations.

A verbal report of general hull condition and any significant issues will be made to a ship officer, and a copy of the underwater videos recorded as part of the sampling can be made available to vessels on request.

Please contact the undersigned with questions or expressions of interest.


Miako Ushio
Manager, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs