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Coastal and Marine Pollution


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Code of Practice for Antifouling

Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, 2000


Removal processes on small craft (<25m) should use the best available techniques that do not entail excessive cost. The same tarpaulin and sheeting processes should be used when removing paints as have been specified for the application of paints. This would allow cheap collection of wastes for off site disposal.

No removal should be undertaken while the vessel is in the water. Removal should not be undertaken on beaches or in the intertidal zone. All removal should be undertaken at appropriately equipped and approved facilities.

Old antifouling coatings are not to be burnt off. Over the past fifty years antifouling formulae have used a variety of extremely hazardous active chemicals and the practice of burning these paints may place both the operator and people in the immediate vicinity at risk. Further, the burning of antifouling paint residues after removal may generate highly toxic fumes, smoke and gases. All antifouling paint residue should be treated as contaminated waste and should be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of local environmental and/or waste disposal authorities.

5.1 In General

5.2 Releases to Air

If vacuum or containment blasting is employed emission targets should be as follows:-

  1. if operating without wet particulate arrest, exhaust emissions of 35mg/m3 should be targeted;
  2. if operating with wet particulate arrest, exhaust emissions of 20mg/m3 should be targeted.

5.3 Releases to Water

The discharging of wastewater, contaminated by antifouling paints, to the sewerage system may cause concern with sewerage managers because sewage treatment is dependent on bacterial processes. Antifouling paints have broad toxic effects and their biocidal impacts on bacteria in sewage systems is unknown. However, the quantities of water flowing through the sewage systems compared to the quantities of waste water evolved during boat cleaning are sufficiently different to allow the yard operator to take advantage of dilution effects. Gradual release of waste water from shipyards to the sewer, i.e. by releasing the water through a very small aperture pipe, will assist in minimising any potential biocidal effects. Approval would need to be sought from the relevant sewerage manager.