Key Researchers: Brett Turner


Organotins including tributyl tin (TBT) are an effective biocide that were widely used historically to prevent or inhibit the growth of algae, barnacles, shellfish and other marine invertebrates on the hulls of a ships. TBT antifouling paints were used successfully for over 40 years, however about 20 years after their introduction (late 1970’s) it was shown that TBT was linked to oyster deformities in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in Arcachon Bay, France [2] and caused serious adverse effects in marine organisms including imposex, the development of male sex characteristics in female organisms [3]. Consequently in 1990 the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted a resolution to ban the use of organotin paints on vessels less than 25m with prohibition eventually coming into effect under the AFS convention on 17 September 2008 [4].  By 2004 it was estimated that more than 80% of the world’s fleet was protected by TBT-[5]. The widespread use of these organotin however has created a lasting legacy of TBT contaminated sediments with the majority, if not all, sh