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A Case Study of Efficacy of Freshwater Immersion in Controlling Introduction of Alien Marine Fouling Communities: The USS Missouri

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Title:A Case Study of Efficacy of Freshwater Immersion in Controlling Introduction of Alien Marine Fouling Communities: The USS Missouri
Authors:Brock, Richard
Bailey-Brock, Julie H.
Goody, John
Date Issued:Jul 1999
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Brock R, Bailey-Brock JH, Goody J. 1999. A case study of efficacy of freshwater immersion in controlling introduction of alien marine fouling communities: the USS Missouri. Pac Sci 53(3): 223-231.
Abstract:The historically significant battleship USS Missouri was recently
decommissioned and moved from Bremerton, Washington, to Hawai'i to become
a memorial museum at Pearl Harbor, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Dry-docking was
completed in January 1993, and since that time the vessel has been part of the
inactive fleet. In this 5-yr period, a dense growth of fouling organisms had developed
on the outer surfaces of the hull. Out of concern that the fouled hull
could become a source for the introduction of alien aquatic nuisance species to
Hawaiian waters, an evaluation of the fouling community was conducted. In
this study we found 116 taxa among 12 phyla in 10 samples scraped from
the vessel's hull. Seventy-six species were identified: 11 known from Hawaiian
waters, 17 with known temperate-boreal distributions, and the remaining 48
known only from the Pacific Northwest. Forty percent of the taxa in this fouling
community were not identified to species, so there remained some potential
for alien species introduction. As a precaution to prevent accidental introductions,
the ship was moved from Bremerton to the Columbia River in Oregon
for a 9~day sojourn in freshwater before its transoceanic crossing to Pearl Harbor.
Inspection of the vessel's hull upon arrival in Pearl Harbor revealed more
than 90% of the hull to be completely clear of any fouling organisms. Only 11
species were found to be alive: 3 species probably recruited to the hull on the
transoceanic crossing that may routinely arrive in Hawaiian waters, 4 species
already present in Hawai'i, 3 Pacific Northwest species that appeared to be
close to death on their arrival in Hawai'i, and 2 euryhaline amphipod species
probably recruited to the hull while in the Columbia River. The amphipods
were not reproductive and brooding young, suggesting that these species would
not be successful colonists. A final inspection and sampling of the hull 83 days
after arriving at Pearl Harbor failed to find live or dead Columbia River amphipods
nor were the three Pacific Northwest species alive. Freshwater exposure
for 9 days coupled with increased water temperatures during the journey to
Hawai'i appear to be an extremely effective means of eliminating the temperate
marine fouling community. This action substantially reduced the probability
that an alien species would be introduced with the arrival of this historic
vessel in Hawai'i.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 53, Number 3, 1999

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