Although a total ban on the use of TBT coatings is not expected in the short term, there is a growing need for environmentally safe antifouling systems. To assist in the rapid screening of a large number of potential antifouling substances, a method that is simple, efficient and inexpensive is required. The production of byssus threads by the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, has often been studied for testing the antifouling efficacy of various compounds. The present study reports a new antifouling assay based on the inhibition of purified M. edulis phenoloxidase activity. The method has the advantage of being specific, reliable, sensitive and rapid.