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Atlantic Shark Institute Finds Solution to Biofouling Challenge with Foulfree™

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"From our perspective, Foulfree is a must-have for anyone who conducts research and uses tags to transmit data."

Jon F. Dodd
Executive Director, Atlantic Shark Institute


This Shark Week, we celebrate our "jaw-some" friends with a study showcasing how Propspeed's Foulfree™ has helped the Atlantic Shark Institute tackle the challenge of biofouling, which impacted the performance of tags deployed on sharks.


The Atlantic Shark Institute is a non-profit organisation based in Rhode Island, USA, that conducts critical shark research. Their goal is to answer the most pressing questions concerning biology, survival, and sustainability of sharks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Shark Institute conducts much of the research with their team, but they also collaborate with other respected shark researchers working in the northwest Atlantic and the result is high-quality shark research completed in an open and collaborative way.

Prior to using Foulfree™, Propspeed's foul-release coating for transducers, the Atlantic Shark Institute faced the challenge of biofouling, which impacted the performance of tags deployed on sharks.

“The process of tagging a wide variety of sharks is the last step in a very long, often complex and costly process,” says Jon Dodd, Executive Director – Atlantic Shark Institute. “Tags that get covered with biofouling don’t work as well as they should and are often not detected at considerable distances. This can have a significant impact on the value of the data we are able to extract and can leave holes and gaps in our research.”

Jon F. Dodd, Executive Director, Atlantic Shark Institute

Jon F. Dodd, Executive Director, Atlantic Shark Institute 

After learning about Foulfree, Jon says they knew it was the product they needed. Many of the tags transmit via acoustic and satellite technology and as a result, it is essential that any coatings used must protect the tag from fouling but also allow for complete transmission of data. “The goal is to provide the best protection possible but also allow for clean, clear transmission of data and Foulfree does both,” says Jon.

Using Foulfree has given the team at the Atlantic Shark Institute additional confidence that the money and time invested prior to the tagging stage has been well spent, as they are now able to receive more complete and accurate data for their research. 

As we share this story, we can't help but express our love and admiration for our fine finned friends and the crucial role they play in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem.

Sharks have long been a subject of fascination and fear, largely due to their portrayal in popular media as ruthless and dangerous. However, one of the primary goals of Shark Week is to dispel misconceptions and promote their conservation. Something that aligns with our own dedication to promoting responsible behaviour in marine environments and the Atlantic Shark Institute's efforts in raising awareness through continued research.

Let's all continue to protect and celebrate these magnificent creatures in every little way we can. 


Foul-release coating for transducers.


Shark tags


South Kingstown, Rhode Island


  • Protection against fouling
  • Protecting (nature's most important) underwater assets