The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety is an initiative of IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships project, that brings together private sector companies from a wide range of ocean-based industries such as shipping, offshore oil and gas, technology research and fouling control systems manufacturers, including anti-fouling coatings, in-water cleaning systems, BioPass, filtration system and ultrasonic, that are willing to lead their respective sectors towards sustainable and practical solutions that can facilitate the implementation of biofouling management regulations.
Biofouling is the accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, or small animals on ships’ hull and other wetted surfaces. In addition to the irreversible affects it can have for marine biodiversity by introducing potentially Invasive Aquatic Species into new environments, biofouling also increases the drag of ships, forcing them to burn more fuel to maintain speed and contribute to the higher GHG emission.
The GIA was launched in June 2020 with four founding members and now it has tripled with the joining of the two new companies in December 2022. Armach Robotics - in-water cleaning service provider, and Jotun - coatings manufacturer. The two new members join at the end of a very busy year for the GIA: just as the two commissioned studies were finalized and the findings of which were published in report format. The first one being on the impact of ships’ biofouling on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which found that keeping ships’ hulls free from just a thin layer of slime could reduce a ship’s GHG emissions by 25 per cent. When the second study is analysing the current and emerging regulatory environment for biofouling management.
The GIA have also commissioned a short animation video to increase awareness of GHG and good biofouling management, which will be launched on 13th December during the 79th meeting of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 79) at IMO Headquarters.
Armach Robotics will add to the alliance discussions and work, their perspective of in-water cleaning services. Karl Lander, Director - Regulatory Compliance and Outreach, mentioned that “Armach is excited to work with GIA and its partners on addressing the negative impact biofouling has on the global shipping industry.”
Jotun will bring experience in antifouling coating technology, proactive in-water cleaning services and innovations in biofouling management. Petter Korslund, Regulatory Affairs Manager in Jotun, mentioned that “GIA is an important industry initiative to work together and cooperate towards a more sustainable shipping. As a global leader in maritime coatings and clean hull solutions, it is our mission to contribute to cleaner hull on vessels, enabling the shipping industry's ambition for decarbonization and biodiversity.”
The next GIA meeting is due to be held also on 13th December, where the new members will get the opportunity to introduce themselves and start contributing to the work of the alliance in the joint goal to improve biofouling management and share awareness of the effects of biofouling worldwide.
About Armach Robotics:
Armach Robotics (Armach) offers shipowners autonomous in-water robotic cleaning solution. Armach harnesses purpose-built robotics with proprietary navigation and operational software to clean ship hulls. The resulting clean hull optimizes ship efficiency, lowers fuel cost/consumption, and provides a complete hull condition report giving shipowners new insight into the condition of their ships' hulls.
Jotun is a manufacturer of decorative paints, marine, protective and powder coatings, with more than 10 200 employees worldwide. Jotun products are available in more than 100 countries through own subsidiaries, joint ventures, branch offices, dealers and distributors. Jotun is based out of Sandefjord, Norway