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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 27 November 2007 Referencing Hub media
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After NIWA scientists decided to isolate the toxic chemical produced by algal blooms, they got a marine paint company to mix the compound with some of their paints. Dr Vicky Webb explains in a video conference with Cobden Primary School, the process the NIWA team then used to test the new paints.

Transcript

Dr Vicky Webb (NIWA) We have got a company that makes paint for boats. To put in several different types of paint and so I mixed our chemical compound with us. And then we have pieces of wood, some of these are pieces of wood, some of these are pieces of plastic and some of these are pieces of metal. And we paint them with our different paints.

Some of them we painted nothing on them because you needed to know whether it is going to work or not. They all got strung onto these ropes and a buoy that was put at the top. And down the bottom here is a little yoghurt container that has been filled up with concrete and we use that as a weight at the bottom.

So we take these out of the harbour and string them onto the lines of the mussel farms and we left them there for three months. Then after three months we pulled them up and we had a look to see what was growing on each of these different sorts of things. To see whether our paint was stopping these little barnacles and seaweeds from attaching and growing.