Some countries, such as for example the Netherlands and Sweden are thinking about banning antifouling paints that are based on copper. This controversial decision is an effort to keep the oceans clean and safe for the animals that live in there. Yacht antifouling and sailboat antifouling are the primary culprits for excessive build-up of copper in seawater. Copper is beneficial to humans and some animals in small amounts but becomes highly toxic in excess. A small amount of copper is thus beneficial to fish, but the issue is they are getting more than a small amount. Due to sailboat and yacht antifouling, too much copper is released into the ocean, endangering a number of sea organisms. Fish and other aquatic species can thus be affected directly or indirectly through the food chain, damaging the ecosystems of the animals that cannot survive in polluted waters.
There are many more suitable alternatives to copper-based sailboat or yacht antifouling. The most attention-grabbing method might be ultrasonic antifouling. Ultrasonic antifouling is a relatively new way of reducing algae and small organisms from the hull of the boat. Due to its non-invasive design, ultrasonic antifouling is thought to be very environmentally friendly. Other products used for greener antifouling might be non-biocide paints and silicone-based products, which are not a big threat to the flora and fauna of the oceans. Probably the least invasive approach might be occasional freshwater baths, which unfortunately take the most effort. The greatest benefit, however, is that freshwater baths are also the cheapest, so this inexpensive technique is definitely one to be taken into consideration. In any case, all of the methods listed above are certainly a big step in the right direction, which is to satisfy the desire to keep the oceans clean and fruitful.