The growth of marine organisms on ship hulls is known as biofouling, and it poses a couple of key problems.
First and foremost, by adding a rough living coating to the hull, it keeps ships from smoothly cutting through the water. This means that their engines have to work harder in order to maintain a given speed, thus using more fuel and producing more exhaust. Additionally, the introduction of invasive, non-native species may occur if organisms latch on in one geographical location and then reproduce in another.
With these issues in mind, Norwegian company Jotun has collaborated with Swedish tech firm Semcon – along with other partners – to develop its Hull Skating Solutions system.