Project seeks to address ships’ biofouling

08 Aug 2017
The GloFouling Partnerships project seeks to address biofouling on a ship’s underwater hull and structures

The GloFouling Partnerships project seeks to address biofouling on a ship’s underwater hull and structures

A new project which seeks to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species has been given the green light.

The GloFouling Partnerships project, a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the IMO, will address biofouling on a ship’s underwater hull and structures.

“GloFouling Partnerships will be an excellent opportunity to help tackle one of the key remaining vectors for the transfer of invasive aquatic species, which cause sizeable impacts on economies and livelihoods,” said Andrew Hudson, head of theUNDP Water & Ocean Governance Programme.

This new project will build on the success of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships project, which worked to build capacity to implement IMO’s Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

It also seeks to build capacity in developing countries to reduce the transboundary introduction of biofouling-mediated invasive aquatic species.

Stefan Micallef, director, Marine Environment Division, IMO, said: “Addressing ship’s hull fouling is a crucial step to protect marine biodiversity. The treatment of hulls to reduce fouling by aquatic organisms has the additional benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, since the drag of ships is reduced.”

The GloFouling Partnerships project concept was approved by the GEF Council in May 2017, with a total funding of US$6.9 million earmarked for implementation.

It’s now going through a detailed preparation phase to be resubmitted to the GEF for endorsement before implementation can commence.

The IMO Secretariat has invited interested Member States to inform it of their intention to participate in the new project.