The vertical distribution of fouling communities in Kudankulam coastal waters was studied for a period of one year (January to December 2005) by suspending wooden test panels at 1 m, 4 m and 7 m depths. Panels were submerged on short-term duration (15 days) and long-term basis (cumulative). The fouling organisms observed were barnacles, mussels, ascidians, polychaetes, amphipods and seaweeds. Recruitment was observed on the panels throughout the year with a considerable variation in relation to time and depth. On the short-term series, the fouling biomass varied from 0.218 to 1.23 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 1 m, 0.23 to 4.72 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 4 m and 0.241 to 5.66 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 7 m depths. The biomass of the fouling community that colonized on the long-term panels ranged between 0.79 and 35 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 1 m, 3.72 and 58.2 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 4 m and 0.241 and 55.9 g.dm−2 (dry wt) at 7 m depths. At 1 m depth, macro-algae, ascidians (Botryllus tuberatus and Diplosoma sp.) and amphipods were the dominant species. Barnacles, tube worms and ascidians (Didemnum spp.) were abundant on the 4 m and 7 m depth panels. In general, the fouling community recruitment was higher at 4 m than 1 m and 7 m depths.