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Wanderingbarnacles

February 15 2018
sea

In a world globalized through the movement of people and products, the maritime industry dominates: 90% of the world’s trade moves by ship. As the movement of goods and people continues to globalize, so does the risk of spreading marine invasive species through vectors like commercial ships.

In order to eradicate, prevent, and act effectively against marine invasive species, we need a better understanding of the role that hull fouling plays in marine invasion dynamics.
I will approach the problem by conducting a fouling survey of a ship with an irregular operating schedule: the Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB) at the California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime). I will conduct hull sampling with an ROV to assess level of fouling (LOF) and percent cover. From my studies, I look to understand the impacts of transit on ships with irregular operating schedules. In order to understand the level of mitigation, monitoring, and legislative action necessary, scientists and policy-makers need to understand the actual level of risk of invasive species transport from these types of vessels with existing biofouling communities.

February 15 2018

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Expedition Background

My research seeks to understand the risks associated with the transport of invasive marine species In a world globalized through the movement of people and products, the maritime industry dominates: 90% of the world’s trade moves by ship in an ocean that covers 71% of the globe’s surface. As the movement of goods and people continues to globalize, so does the risk of spreading marine invasive species through vectors like commercial ships. Invasive species are a huge ecologic and economic threat to the United States, as well as on a global scale.
San Francisco is the most invaded estuary in the world, and thus the risk factor increases for the spread of marine invasive species through mechanisms like ballast water transport and biofouling. In addition to the already existent risks, there are numerous vessels in San Francisco with atypical operational profiles, staying in one place for extended time periods and accumulating biofouling, the attachment of organisms to the wetted surface areas of a ship. There is a relevant need for quantitative measurements of biofouling and organisms’ responses to ship transit. In order to eradicate, prevent, and act effectively against marine invasive species, we need a better understanding of the role that hull fouling plays in marine invasion dynamics. In order to eradicate, prevent, and act effectively against marine invasive species, we need a better understanding of the role that hull fouling plays in marine invasion dynamics. I will approach the problem in two ways. First, I will conduct a fouling survey of the Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB) at the California State University Maritime Academy and continue to monitor its hull fouling communities throughout its annual summer voyage. I want to know what impacts a rapid shift in salinity and flow will have on these communities. I hypothesize that a sudden change in salinity, as well as additional flow, will remove settling communities and kill settled organisms. Additionally, I will submerge fouling panels coated in a paint similar to that on the TSGB. As these panels are submerged throughout various locations in the bay, I will look to ground my earlier mentioned field results in lab work by subjecting the communities I grow on the panels to varied salinity and flow levels. I want to fully understand the impact of salinity and flow on these communities. Similar to part 1, I hypothesize that in my lab experiments, a sudden change in salinity and flow will be destructive to fouling communities. To understand the level of mitigation, monitoring, and legislative action necessary, scientists and policy-makers need to understand the actual level of risk of invasive species transport from these types of vessels with existing biofouling communities. Specifically, in order for California to successfully uphold its 2016 biofouling regulations, the State and its regulators need to have quantitative data for analyzing risks of invasive species transfers in, and out of, its coastal waterways.

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