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Paint scrapings of antifouling paint
Photo: Mia Dahlström

Changing antifouling practices for leisure boats in the Baltic Sea

Leisure boating is contributing to the high levels of contaminants in the Baltic Sea. Nearly 30% of the Swedish Baltic Sea leisure boats use an overload of copper that is not necessary considering the relatively mild fouling pressure in the Baltic Sea. Changes in policy, infrastructures and practices are suggested to combat the problem.

Aim and goal

The project aim has been to provide a deep understanding of how individual behaviour and attitudes are linked to governance structures and in the end policy performance.


Leisure boating is contributing to the high levels of contaminants in the Baltic Sea. The challenge is to propose how a change in behaviour among boat owners can be achieved to the benefit of the Baltic Sea coastal ecosystem.


  • Obtain a behavioral change perspective by mapping consumer practices and social barriers to sustainable use of antifouling products and techniques
  • Suggest legal improvements and propose incentives for environmentally sustainable antifouling systems.
  • Establish credibility for the performance of non-toxic methods by testing and evaluating the performance of different antifouling methods.
  • Contribute to new risk assessment of antifouling products by measurement of the eco-toxicity of paints, as well as of mixtures of hazardous compounds found in shipyard soil and marine sediments.
  • Provide a new cost efficient tool for use in regulatory supervision for boats and boat yards in the Baltic region
  • Arrange training and education of boat owners in basic marine ecology, ecotoxicology, human toxicology and legal matters to create incentives for change


The outcome of CHANGE is a thorough understanding of how the linkages between individual attitudes, behavior, market actors and the legal framework shape the environmental policy performance in the field of toxins from the use of antifouling paints.

For example, antifouling practices are not only a matter of individual choices but rather dependent on structural and cultural conditions, boating lifestyle and marina infrastructure.

Reports from the project


Project name




RISE role in project

Project coordinator

Project start


4 years

Total budget

3 945 363 Euro


University of Gothenburg (SE), Stockholm University (SE), Aalto University (FI), Copenhagen University (DE), Limnomar (GE), Chalmers Tekniska Högskola (SE)


BONUS EEIG, Naturvårdsverket, Projektträger Jülich, Rostock, Academy of Finland, Innovationsfonden - or Innovation Fund Denmark, European Comission

Supports the UN sustainability goals

14. Life below water
Karin Persson

Contact person

Karin Persson

Teknisk Doktor

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