Biofouling results in tremendous economic losses to maritime industries around the world. A recent global ban on the use of organotin compounds as antifouling agents has further raised demand for safe and effective antifouling compounds. In this study, 49 secondary metabolites, including diterpenoids, steroids, and polyketides, were isolated from soft corals, gorgonians, brown algae, and fungi collected along the coast of China, and their antifouling activity was tested against cyprids of the barnacle Balanus (Amphibalanus) amphitrite. Twenty of the compounds were found to inhibit larval settlement significantly at a concentration of 25 μg ml-1. Two briarane diterpenoids, juncin O (2) and juncenolide H (3), were the most promising non-toxic antilarval settlement candidates, with EC50 values less than 0.13 μg ml-1 and a safety ratio (LC50/EC50) higher than 400. A preliminary structure-activity relationships study indicated that both furanon and furan moieties are important for antifouling activity. Intriguingly, the presence of hydroxyls enhanced their antisettlement activity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.