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Biofouling Treatment Initiative Announced

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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A new endeavor to protect marine ecosystems from invasive aquatic species through biofouling has been approved for preparation.

Known as the Glofouling Partnerships Project—aka Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries to Minimize the Impacts from Aquatic Biofouling—the collaboration between the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Program and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will strive to address these biofouling concerns primarily through tackling the issue of the build-up of aquatic organisms on ships’ submerged components, and will implement IMO guidelines.

International Maritime Organization

A new endeavor to protect marine ecosystems from invasive aquatic species through biofouling has been approved for preparation.

“IMO has been at the forefront of the international effort to tackle the transfer of invasive aquatic species by ships. Addressing ship’s hull fouling is a crucial step to protect marine biodiversity,” Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO, said in a statement.

“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.”

GloFouling Project

Building on the success of the past GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships and GloMEEP (Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Project), the GloFouling Project will also provide developing countries with the resources to reduce the effect of invasive aquatic species.

The implementation of the program’s three-tier model drives institutional, legal and policy reforms, as well as the sharing of technology through public-private partnerships. While the GloBallast Project has completed its work as of this year, the GloMEEP endeavor will support energy efficiency measures for ships moving forward.

Approved by the GEF Council in May, the GloFouling Partnership also received $6.9 million in funding. Now, IMO Secretariat is setting the stage to implement the project, the new details of which will be resubmitted to GEF for approval for endorsement before moving forward.

“The implementation of the GloFouling Partnerships will be instrumental in battling aquatic invasive species, and will not only lead to healthier more robust marine ecosystems, but also positively impact economic opportunities and the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe,” Chris Severin, Senior Environmental Specialist from the GEF, said in a statement. “I am confident it will be another success in the fruitful partnership between the GEF, UNDP and IMO."


Glofouling Partnerships Project goals include:

  • Implement international law to assist with oceans conservation;
  • Invest in marine research to better understand and take steps towards improving ocean health;
  • Address the impacts of ocean acidification; and
  • By 2020, protect marine and coastal ecosystems to prevent negative impact.


Tagged categories: Bioproducts; Research; Research and development

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