Fouling organisms can be hugely detrimental to tagging studies. Especially for deployments in tropical waters, it is imperative that tags be protected against marine growth. Wildlife Computers endorses two anti-fouling paints, Micron66 and Propspeed. While there are dozens of options available, these are our favorites from years of testing and client feedback.
Micron is a copper-based, ablative antifouling paint that kills biofouling on contact. Micron is highly effective at providing protection whether animals are moving or not. Unique among anti-fouling paints, the acrylic copolymer formula of Micron66 with Biolux® reacts with saltwater to release biocide. Because the formula relies on a chemical reaction and not water friction, it’s a great choice for slow movers like sea turtles and whale sharks. Micron antifouling paint has been successfully for decades to limit biofouling on sea turtle satellite tracking tags, however, Micron can be used on all Wildlife Computers tags.
Propspeed is non-toxic and widely available. Its glossy texture sloughs off marine growth before it has a chance to bond, keeping tag sensors clean and pristine. Constant water flow is key to Propspeed’s effectiveness making it most beneficial for active swimmers like tuna and sharks.