The Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira hosted the first national workshop in Brazil of the GloFouling Partnerships as part of the XIIIth edition of the BIOINC conference. BIOINC is the flagship conference in Latin America on marine biofouling, benthic ecology and biotechnology.
The conference was chaired by Dr. Ricardo Coutinho (national project coordinator for GloFouling in Brazil) and inaugurated by Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, Director General of Nuclear and Technology Development of the Marinha do Brasil. Admiral Olsen highlighted the importance that the Brazilian Navy attaches to technological research and how the participation of Brazil in the GloFouling Partnerships underscores its commitment to protect marine biodiversity.
The event brought together national experts on biofouling and invasive species, representatives from Marinha do Brasil, other departments from federal and state administrations and participants from leading private sector companies such as Petrobras and Vale. The keynote was delivered by Dr. Gregrory Ruiz, Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and founding co-director of the Aquatic BioInvasion Research and Policy Institute at Portland State University.
During the national workshop of the GloFouling Partnerships, all participants took part in working groups aimed at discussing the composition of the national task force that will be set up shortly to define a national policy on biofouling and invasive species and draft the national strategy and action plan to implement the IMO Biofouling Guidelines.
The GloFouling workshop included the premiere of a video production titled "Brazil at the International Maritime Organization", highlighting the role and contributions of Brazil in the work and meetings at IMO. During the remaining days of BIOINC, discussions focused on a number of subjects, including how to integrate research on marine biotechnology into successful business ventures, particularly for the development of health applications, mariculture production and the wider blue economy. Other noteworthy interventions were Dr. Carlos Eduardo Leite Ferreira, Head of the Reef Systems Ecology and Conservation Lab at the Universidad Federal Fluminense, and Dr. Renato Crespo Ferreira, Director of Scientific Research at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens.
The next step for the GloFouling Partnerships in Brazil will be the development of national baseline reports to assess the current situation with regard to non-indigenous species, and identify any research currently available on the subject, analyse the economic impacts and determine the national legal framework.