Composition of three images - scientist inspecting fouled ship hull, underwater cleaning vessel and a ships hull half cleaned of fouling

In-water Hull Cleaning

Clean hulls mean faster journey times, less fuel, less emissions and lower the transfer risk of non-native species around the world. However, in-water hull cleaning itself has the potential to contaminate the environment and without the correct planning & procedures, it could have legal implications for ports, vessels, operators and the environment.

Internationally, in-water hull cleaning is increasingly being seen as an important tool in the realm of hull husbandry, and the UK in particular is seeing a steady reintroduction of ”Next Generation” closed circuit devices to its Ports.


Designed to capture both biological and chemical debris, “Next Generation” closed circuit hull cleaning devices are paving the way for an environmentally sound solution for “between dry-dock” hull husbandry, maintaining hull performance and environmental status. However, even if correctly managed, in-water hull cleaning inherently introduces an element of risk, both for the port and for the vessel.
PML Applications Ltd provides services for device manufacturers, ports and ship owners/operators to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties and the environment.

What we offer  

  • Independent efficacy testing of devices. Bespoke sea trials to answer specific questions for your needs.
  • Environmental monitoring: collection of baseline data, and continual monitoring to evaluate effects of in-water hull cleaning in port sediments and sub-tidal habitats.
  • Port baseline and continual surveys for non-native species.
  • Regulatory advice to ensure hull cleaning is conducted within national and regional legislation, and international guidelines.
  • BioSecurity plans to ensure all risks have been appraised and mitigation actions identified. BioSecurity Plans provide evidence of “best practice” and help with regulatory compliance.
  • Independent & impartial reviews of hull cleaning devices to find the best system for your needs.

Contact us

To discuss your requirements please contact:

Anna YunnieAnna Yunnie

Senior Applied Research Scientist
Lead: BioSecurity, Non-Native Species & In-water Hull Cleaning
+44 (0)1752 633412

Slippery Ships - PML Applications Ltd features on BBC Radio Four

Anna Yunnie from PML Applications was recently interviewed about marine biofouling as part of a series of episodes on climate change entitled "39 Ways to Save the Planet". In this episode Anna talks about Hull fouling and the emerging technologies are helping to tackle the problem.
You can listen to the episode on the BBC Sounds website.

In-water hull cleaning presentation

Anna Yunnie from PML Applications Ltd gave the presentation "In-water hull cleaning: Scratching the surface off the UK regulatory process" to the 3rd ANZPAC Workshop on Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping:

MERC/CT Workshop

Anna contributed her knowledge to the workshop 'Harmonizing test protocols for evaluating the performance of vessel in-water cleaning and capture (IWCC) and in-water grooming (IWG) systems' 23-24th April 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The workshop brought together experts in the field of in-water cleaning to discuss and analyse the performance of related technologies, the challenges and feasibilities, regulations and test protocols.

Read the news article about the event


"ECOsubsea, a leading provider of eco-friendly hull cleaning technology, has engaged with PML Applications for their vast international industry experience and leading competence within the field. During the several years we have worked with them we have always found PML Applications to be thoroughly professional, providing robust, clear, independent and impartial scientific advice as well as detailed information of the complexities of the UK regulatory structure and critical analysis of test results.

Over the last years, local and international regulators focused on in-water cleaning and its impact on the ocean. We anticipate that this will lead to in-water hull cleaning standards that soon will be implemented and we have complete confidence in PML Applications to provide the necessary independent and impartial testing service. "

Tor M. Østervold - CEO, ECOsubsea AS

Get in touch

Dr Tom VanceDr Tom Vance
Business Development Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1752 633 412