Biofoulers Athena Subsea Philippines

Goose barnacles with green algae
on a 6-inch wide rope submerged
at 30 meters.

Biofoulers in Hamtic, Antique, Panay Island, Philippines
Athena Subsea Station

Araceli Q. Adrias, Director, R&D
Coleen P. Sucgang, Chief Information Officer

The Athena subsea station, located on the southwest tip of the island of Panay, is designed to test for biofouling at 30 meters below the surface of the sea. Test panels are placed inside cages that can be lowered through a vertically oriented cable anchored at the bottom and secured on the surface with floatation devices, creating an “elevator” to bring sea cages up and down for monitoring. The design allows for deeper submergence down to 300 meters by varying the location of the anchor on the subsea floor. For more information about this subsea immersion, please click here.

The subsea environment is markedly different from the usual subsurface immersion. The predominant hard fouling organisms found at this site are corals, acorn barnacles and goose barnacles. The presence of these organisms on test panels varies from season to season and likely due to the strong currents at the 30 m depth during the monsoon season. The seasonality of these organisms is currently under investigation.

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