Biofouling in marine aquaculture: a review of recent research and developments

Biofouling in marine aquaculture is one of the main barriers to efficient and sustainable production. Owing to the growth of aquaculture globally, it is pertinent to update previous reviews to inform management and guide future research. Here, the authors highlight recent research and developments on the impacts, prevention and control of biofouling in shellfish, finfish and seaweed aquaculture, and the significant gaps that still exist in aquaculturalists’ capacity to manage it. Antifouling methods are being explored and developed; these are centred on harnessing naturally occurring antifouling properties, culturing fouling-resistant genotypes, and improving farming strategies by adopting more sensitive and informative monitoring and modelling capabilities together with novel cleaning equipment. While no simple, quick-fix solutions to biofouling management in existing aquaculture industry situations have been developed, the expectation is that effective methods are likely to evolve as aquaculture develops into emerging culture scenarios, which will undoubtedly influence the path for future solutions.