About Us

Biofouling Solutions (BFS) was established in 2008 by experienced research scientists who specialised in Invasive Marine Species (IMS)  and indentified a  commercial need for expertise in biofouling and the management of IMS.  Our dedicated staff of highly trained marine scientists provide national and international clients with a complete range of services and solutions for biofouling related issues. BFS offer a comprehensive biofouling management service from advice during the project design phase to management planning, risk assessment, task specific training, IMS inspection and auditing. We are experienced in developing, testing and implementing a wide range of biofouling treatments and management regimes that can be applied to any maritime vessels or infrastructure. Our experience includes such activities for recreational vessels, ocean-going yachts, diverse oilfield service vessels, commercial vessels, dredges, pipe lay vessels, semi-submersible oil rigs, passenger liners, wharves and marinas. We have extensive experience developing management plans for individual vessels and broader marine biosecurity strategies for large oil and gas programs.


Our experienced scientists operate in Australia and overseas to assess and mitigate the threat of IMS incursions via biofouling. Our reputation is built on specialist IMS expertise, a high standard of quality control and reporting and a commitment to client needs. BFS provides independence and integrity in all aspects of operations.

Core Capabilities Portfolio

BFS services cover a broad range of professional, scientific and technical aspects of biofouling and IMS management.  Our staff have high level tertiary scientific qualification in marine biology, a diverse range of practical skills and extensive experience in the field. Areas of specific strength include practical scientific research aimed at environmental, regulatory and industrial biofouling management applications including antifouling and in-water cleaning technologies.


The services BFS offers include:

  • Advisory Services

  • Research and Development Services

  • Innovative Solutions for Managing Biofouling and IMS

  • Biofouling and IMS Risk Assessments

  • Biofouling Management Plans (BMP)

  • Biofouling and IMS Inspection Services


Advisory Services

One of BFS’ greatest strengths is our ability to effectively communicate with our clients. Given the extensive knowledge and experience of our staff, we are able to navigate clients through relevant biofouling regulations and legal requirements. Most importantly, we have gained the respect of regulators as a consequence of our marine biology/ecology research backgrounds, experience and involvement in the development of biofouling management requirements around the world. For instance, we have assisted The International Maritime Organization, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, State of Hawaii, California’s State Lands Commission, Commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and more. Furthermore, we are respected within the oil and gas industry due to our ability to remain independent and objective. We pride ourselves on pragmatic solutions to complex issues and advocate pro-active management to prevent a cascade of unplanned delays and costs to industry.


Research and Development Services

BFS has a well-established research and development capacity dedicated to the development of practical tools designed to mitigate the spread of IMS through biofouling.  Currently our products and services are primarily targeted towards the commercial shipping, petroleum exploration and production sectors of the maritime industry. However, we are also committed to developing effective treatment and biosecurity options for border control authorities, ocean going yachts people and marina operators.


Some of the research and development projects we are involved in include:

  • Testing the efficacy of using steam to treat biofouling and IMS of concern inside niche areas.

  • Testing/developing the efficacy of various environmentally friendly antifouling coatings.

  • Testing the efficacy of using different chemical descalers for IMS treatment of internal seawater systems and other vessel niche areas. In conjunction with a post graduate student at the University of Tasmania, BFS have trialled the efficacy of commercially available descaler chemicals for marine biosecurity purposes.

  • Testing/developing in-water cleaning technologies for general hull maintenance, fuel efficiency and incursion response.

  • Member of California State Lands Commission’s Vessel Fouling Technical Advisory Group for the development California’s Code of Regulations for the “elimination of the discharge of non-indigenous species into the waters of the state or into waters”.

  • Redrafting the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) Code of Practice for Anti-fouling and In-water Hull Cleaning and Maintenance (1997) in collaboration with the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand, for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) (RFQ36-2009).

  • Reviewing and redrafting Woodside Energy Limited’s Invasive Marine Species Management Plan for all Woodside activities in Australian waters.

Risk Assessments

BFS has extensive experience in conducting risk assessments of the likelihood of vessels or infrastructure carrying or introducing IMS of concern to new locations. BFS also has one of the most advanced and up to date IMS of concern databases in the world. This is a result of being awarded the contract (in collaboration with the Australian Maritime College) by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) to assess the marine pest risks associated with biofouling (RFQ22-2008). This research project created a database containing the known distribution of 182 of the most problematic IMS of concern around the world. This project forms the back bone of Australia’s pending National Biofouling Management Requirements and the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Aquatic Biosecurity Management. BFS has adapted this database so that a vessels/infrastructure's voyage history, since their previous thorough out of water clean and application of anti-fouling coating, can be entered and cross-referenced against the known world locations of IMS of concern. The risk assessment initially assumes that a vessel/infrastructure will be contaminated if it has visited waters known to contain IMS of concern. The overall likelihood of the vessel/infrastructure successfully translocating IMS of concern is then influenced by the following factors:


  • Presence/absence, type and age of anti-fouling coating

  • Vessel/infrastructure type, number and complexity of niche areas[1]

  • Voyage history since previous out of water clean and application of anti-fouling coating (location and duration of residency periods, transit speeds, etc. can be determined)

  • Biofouling mitigation measures (in-water cleaning or out-of-water periods)

  • Presence/absence, position and type of Marine Growth Prevention Systems

[1] Niche areas on the external hull of a vessel are those areas that are more susceptible to accumulating biofouling due to different hydrodynamic forces, susceptibility to coating system wear or damage, or being inadequately, or not, painted. Some examples of niche areas include sea chests, bow thrusters, propeller shafts, inlet gratings, dry-dock support strips, rudder hinges and sacrificial anodes.

BFS are very familiar with the use of Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's on-line vessel IMS risk assessment tool called “Vessel Check”. We are also intimate with the various Vessel Risk Assessment Score Sheets (VRASS) which are often used as the first step in deciding whether any further management measures are required in order for vessels to pose a low risk and enter onto specific contracts or enter in Western Australian waters.  


Biofouling Management Plans

Various regulatory bodies and agencies around the world have developed biofouling management guidelines including:

  • The International Maritime Organization’s “Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species”

  • International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IPIECA) “Guidance for the prevention and management of alien invasive species and the oil and gas industry”

  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) “National biofouling management guidelines for Commercial, Non-Trading and  Petroleum Production and Exploration Industry”


These guidelines encourage vessel owners/operators to develop their own Biofouling Management Plans (BMP) and Record Books for each of their vessels. Such BMP's and record books educate vessel operators on how they can minimize the chances of their vessel/infrastructure carrying IMS of concern. They also greatly assist regulators to assess the marine biosecurity risk of a particular vessels. Vessels that are unable to provide authentic and up-to-date BMP’s to the regulators are more likely to be subjected to further inspection and a verification processes at the vessel owner/operator’s expense.


BFS has developed a wide variety of BMP's that can be tailored to individual vessels. This service can be engaged by completing our questionnaire and supplying us with authentic and current anti-fouling paint certificates, general arrangement plans, docking plans, etc. Alternatively,  one of our IMS Inspectors can visit and audit your vessels to ensure the BMP is thorough and ground-truthed. BMP's are particularly useful for outlining the IMS management scope of works required when a vessel is preparing to dry-dock during mobilisation for a particular project. A BMP can be referred to the dry-dock and associated contractors, ensuring that all expectations are met in a timely and cost-effective manner.


Inspection Services

BFS has developed systematic protocols based on international and national guidelines for inspecting vessels and infrastructure. BFS has coal-face IMS inspection experience on a wide range of vessel types, from small ocean-going yachts, to large semi-submersible oil rigs and vessels up to 488 metres long. Our IMS Inspectors are arguably some of the most experienced in the world. Collectively, over our careers we have inspected ~1,600 vessels for IMS of concern in numerous locations within the following countries; Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom,  and the United States of America. We also have the most advanced Standard Operating Procedures and in-house training regimes currently available which ensure that BFS Inspectors maintain a consistent and high level inspection service.


BFS staff have honours degrees and/or Doctorates in marine biology with particular expertise in biofouling and/or IMS of concern related disciplines. Together we have more than 100 years’ combined experience researching and managing biofouling and IMS of concern. BFS Inspectors are endorsed by Woodside Energy Ltd, Chevron Australia Ltd, Quadrant Energy Ltd. and Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. In addition to the above, we also have the capability and experience in conducting IMS inspections in line with the following key government sectors biosecurity legislation and regulations; Northern Territory Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources, New South Wales Industry and Investment, and New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries. Our IMS Inspectors hold current Maritime Security Identification Cards (MSIC), Offshore Medical Certificates, Occupational First Aid Certificates, Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) Certificates, Working at Heights, Confined Space Entry and are vaccinated against the most common diseases and viruses. Most importantly, our IMS Inspectors have been trained and equipped to identify the most common IMS of concern at the coal-face. Such skills enable rapid decision making, saving the client’s time and money.


A summary of our IMS inspection services include:

  •  Assessment of the nature and extent of the inspection required and IMS of concern to be targeted.

  • Submission of our Pre-inspection Preparation Information Kit (BFS005) (sent to vessel master and chief engineer prior to inspection, outlining our expectations and logistical details of the inspection).

  • Coordination of all flights and accommodation.

  • Management and inspection of vessels/infrastructure in-water or at a vessel maintenance facility.

  • Management, inspection and/or treatment of vessels/infrastructure in-water.

  • Assistance with the coordination of commercial diving companies (if required).

  • Assistance with the coordination of chemical treatment companies for managing internal seawater systems (if required).

  • Assistance with the coordination and use of Remotely Operated Vehicles.

  • Thorough inspection of all topside immersible equipment, internal seawater system and external hull locations (including niche areas).

  • Use of a waterproof endoscope for inspecting inside internal seawater systems and sea chests to provide clients and regulators with a higher level of confidence that vessels/infrastructure will meet the necessary biofouling management requirements[1].

  • Identification of the most common IMS of concern.

  • Submission of our Checklist Inspection Report and Inspection Confidence Rating (BFS012a, b, c).

  • If necessary, coordination of any biofouling mitigation measures (e.g. in-water cleaning or treatment of internal seawater systems).

  • Inclusion of Diver Quality Assurance Statement (BFS011) (if required).

  • If necessary, liaison with relevant regulative authorities should IMS of concern be detected in Australian waters.

  • Coordination for the confirmed identification of any (unconfirmed/suspected) IMS of concern by external taxonomic experts.

  • Assistance with pro-active measures that can be adopted in increase a vessels’ immunity to unwanted biofouling and/or Invasive Marine Species settlement.

  • Submission of a final report including copies of all high resolution digital photographs and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage within five working days of completing the inspection.

[1] As far as we are aware, we are the only company to possess and use water proof endoscopes for thoroughly inspecting internal seawater systems and sea chests. A process that will save clients valuable time and significantly increase inspection confidence.

Competitive Advantage

  • BFS staff have honours degrees and/or Doctorates in marine biology with particular expertise in biofouling and/or IMS of concern related disciplines. Together we have more than 100 years’ combined experience researching and managing biofouling and IMS of concern.

  • We are endorsed IMS inspectors by Woodside Energy Ltd, Chevron Energy (Australia) Ltd, Quadrant Energy Ltd. and Western Australian Department of Fisheries.

  • Unlike most of our opposition, BFS are a team of scientists, rather than a single person operator. This provides us with the capability to commit to large scale and long-term projects.

  • BFS is the largest IMS inspection company in the world. We have four qualified IMS inspectors and the capacity to service large projects that often require simultaneous inspections in multiple locations.

  • We were the largest supplier of IMS inspections for the Chevron Gorgon Project construction vessels to date (both upstream and downstream construction phases). This work has largely focused on inspections of multiple tug and barge combinations mobilizing throughout south-east Asia.

  • We have the most advanced Biofouling Management Systems and one of the most advanced risk assessment databases in Australia.

  • As far as we are aware, we will be the only company to use water proof endoscopes for thoroughly inspecting internal seawater systems and sea chests. A process that can save clients valuable time and significantly increase inspection confidence.

  • To date, 100% of our risk assessments and inspections have satisfied relevant regulatory requirement and resulted in vessels/infrastructure entering Australian waters.


Certificates of Currency

BFS has the following insurance cover:

   •   Professional Indemnity $10 million

   •   Public Liability $20 million

   •   Workers Compensation Insurance


Quality Assurance

Biofouling Solutions is about scientific excellence, continually applying skills, knowledge and new ideas against a quality management framework.

The company’s strengths revolve around its people – a dedicated and experienced team of marine scientists who are committed to providing professional quality services to all of our clients.

Our management team understands its responsibility to nurture and foster a culture of continual improvement, both internally within the company, and externally to meet our clients’ needs in an ever-changing and complex business environment.

If you are interested in any of the services provided by BFS, please email us your details via the link below

and we will answer your query promptly.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Telephone +61 (0) 3 6229 2334 or Mobile +61 (0) 449 166 308



Pty Ltd 2020