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Experimental assessment of the fouling control coating effect on the fuel consumption rate


Fishing is an energy-intensive economic activity. Research in several fields is conducted to improve the energy and environmental profile of fishing vessels. As regards the technical measures, the assessment of benefits is often hampered by boundary conditions that are difficult to quantify and side effects that are difficult to unravel. This study examined the impact of a fluoropolymer-based fouling release paint on the fuel consumption rate of a Mediterranean bottom trawler. The analysis of a series of sea trial campaigns allowed for a quantitative and qualitative comparison of fuel consumption rate during the regular fishing activities. Comparing the fuel consumption rate before and after the application of the fluoropolymer-based foul-release coating, a reduction in fuel consumption rate was observed and quantified. Other advantages are discussed in this paper regarding the reduction of GHG emission, and the more environmental-friendly approach using biocide-free and non-banned products.