Leisure boats are responsible for elevated levels of heavy metals and PAHs in sediments in- and near marinas and natural harbours. As these compounds are released directly into the water column they also pose a threat to organisms in the pelagic environment. Passive samplers were deployed during peak and post tourist season in the water column of natural harbours, leisure boat waterways and small marinas to measure the dissolved fraction of PAHs and metal ions. Differences between seasons indicative of leisure boat activities were found as PAH composition differed between peak and post season for natural harbours and waterways, where heavier PAHs increased during peak season. During peak season, metal samplers were covered by biofouling, which likely affected the uptake. Post season metal concentrations differ between locations, with concentrations exceeding quality standards at near mainland locations where boats are maintained, compared to the sites in the archipelago.
Antifouling paints are widely used to avoid organisms settling on boat hulls. The active ingredients in the paints have differed over the years where lead, TBT, irgarol and diuron have been deemed too harmful to non-target organisms and subsequently been banned within the EU. Most of these compounds however are persistent in the environment and can cause problems long after they are deposited. We have examined if present-day and banned substances used in antifouling paints can be found in sediments in a national park on the Swedish west coast. Sampled locations include waterways, natural harbours and small marinas for leisure crafts to investigate if number of visiting boats affect the concentration of antifouling compounds in sediments. Few significant differences were found when comparing the different locations types, suggesting that overall boat presence is more important than specific mooring sites, however, several banned antifouling compounds were found in the surface sediments.