The potential for biofouling by commercial vessels and leisure boats acting as vectors for non-indigenous species (NIS) has been noticed already a long time ago. However, the quantity and quality of fouling arriving in the Baltic Sea is largely unknown. Therefore, the potential for biofouling has to be quantified to improve the removal and handling of biofouling material, and to decrease its risk as a vector for harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (HAOP). In addition to biofouling material, wear and damage of antifouling coatings during cleaning are a source of plastics and contaminants to the sea.

Quantification of biofouling potential is highly relevant for the biofouling waste handling issues (collection, proper handling, neutralization) and possible synergies with already existing ballast water sediment reception facilities and treatment procedures in ports.