GloFouling Partnerships Project

ICOMIA has partnered with IMO and other leading organisations forming the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety, aiming to provide a globally consistent approach on how biofouling should be controlled and managed. The project, which will run for 5 years (2019-2023), involves 12 countries, 6 regional environmental organizations and over 60 strategic partners.

Biofouling is the accumulation of aquatic organisms such as microorganisms, plants and animals, on surfaces and structures immersed in or exposed to the aquatic environment. Once invasive aquatic species are established in a new location or habitat, they are often impossible to eradicate. The transfer of invasive aquatic organisms can threaten fresh water, brackish and marine environments, human, animal and plant life, and economic and cultural activities.

Read more about the project.

One of the scopes of the project involves the development of a global knowledge hub as one-stop access to information for all maritime industries. Access the knowledge hub here.

Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety

The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety will be established under the GloFouling
Partnerships as an alliance of leaders from maritime industries, especially from sectors addressed by the
IMO Guidelines, who will work together and with the GloFouling Partnerships to support improved
biofouling management and marine biosafety initiatives. 

Members are expected to collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers and promote the development and uptake of new technologies and operational measures.

It is expected that a number of projects or activities will be undertaken using the GIA that will help advance the development and implementation of best practices to manage biofouling, such as:

  • In-water cleaning and grooming technologies

Promote activities that accelerate the development of innovative technologies; promote the development of a standardized method to consistently and systematically evaluate the performance of in-water cleaning technologies; promote activities that generate trusted information on performance, operability, safety, durability and cost of coatings, in-water cleaning ROVs and other technologies or systems.

  • Operational improvement

Development or Review of Risk Assessment Systems based on operational profile of ships; promote new technologies and operational best practices in developing countries; develop study on best approaches for unplanned events (e.g. damaged ships, platforms or other structures); develop innovative spatial planning solutions for sustainable marine resource management and reduce pests and/or diseases.

  • New and alternative coating solutions

Integration between the industry and academia/research for testing new coating solutions for all kinds of surfaces and nets; promote activities that accelerate the development of innovative coating systems, technology verification and approval processes; development of a Decision Support System for selection of biofouling management methods.

  • Ship design

Incentivise hull designs to reduce the number of niche areas and/or increase accessibility; review of existing technologies/techniques for monitoring, inspecting and cleaning niche areas; develop a study on future ship design and potential changes to minimise biofouling or harbouring invasive aquatic species.

  • Recreational boating

Hold awareness-raising events or demonstrations in local marinas to demonstrate best practices and innovative solutions for managing biofouling (hull cleaning, applying coatings, benefits, etc.).

  • Aquaculture

Develop awareness-raising materials to highlight the link between biofouling on nets and invasive aquatic species; incentivise new net designs and structures to reduce biofouling and facilitate in-water cleaning.

  • Human element

Development of Industry targeted training tools based on UN Train-X methodology.

Read more about the GIA for Marine Biosafety and how to become a member.