Aquaculture is a billion dollar industry and biofouling of aquaculture installations has heavy economic penalties. The natural antifouling (AF) defence mechanism of some seaweed that inhibits biofouling by production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inspired us to mimic this process by fabricating ZnO photocatalytic nanocoating. AF activity of fishing nets modified with ZnO nanocoating was compared with uncoated nets (control) and nets painted with copper-based AF paint. One month experiment in tropical waters showed that nanocoatings reduce abundances of microfouling organisms by 3-fold compared to the control and had higher antifouling performance over AF paint. Metagenomic analysis of prokaryotic and eukaryotic fouling organisms using next generation sequencing platform proved that nanocoatings compared to AF paint were not selectively enriching communities with the resistant and pathogenic species. The proposed bio-inspired nanocoating is an important contribution towards environmentally friendly AF technologies for aquaculture. andcopy; 2017 The Author(s).
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