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Global Industry Alliance ongoing work and plan ahead

Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety convened on 22 February for the first of four meetings in 2024. At the core of the meeting discussions was the preparation of the sustainability plan for GIA after GloFouling Partnerships project finishes on 31 May 2025. During the meeting the ideas and potential solutions were discussed with the goal to agree on the way forward during its next meeting to be held in June 2024.

In parallel the alliance discussed all various ongoing and potential future activities commissioned by the GIA. The overall goal of the alliance is to contribute and support two key International Maritime Organization (IMO) pressing environmental objectives via improved biofouling management: to protect marine biodiversity and decarbonize shipping. The alliance identifies the gaps and commissions research, studies and development of awareness raising material for shipping industry.

The GIA also welcomed its newest member Nippon Paint Marine who joined in 2024. Nippon Paint Marine is an anti-fouling coatings manufacturer since 1881. Ms. Gladys Goh, President of the company expressed her excitement to joining the alliance and support to the overall GIA goal to protect the environment. Ms. Goh said “the industry-public sector collaboration is very important in order to achieve the goal in the most effective way”.

Among the ongoing activities currently in progress the development of half an hour-long documentary was discussed. The purpose of it is to highlight in detail key issues of biofouling: the spread of invasive aquatic species via ships’ hull; and increased GHG emissions due to increased drag of ships. The agreed tentative timeline for the launch of the documentary is during the 82nd session of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to be held 30 September – 4 October at IMO headquarters.


With ever changing global standards on ships’ biofouling management the GIA have also discussed the progress of the review of its publication “Compilation and Comparative Analysis of Existing and Emerging Regulations, Standards and Practices Related to Ships’ Biofouling Management” published in 2022. Especially with IMO’s Member States recognizing the high impacts of ships’ biofouling and recently adopted the revised IMO Biofouling Guidelines (July 2023) from its previous less detailed 2011 version, the world is following suit and ports, countries and regions are continuously putting into effect biofouling management measures. The GIA have agreed that the publication will be launched and made publicly available by the end of 2024.

The work is currently ongoing on two studies. The first is a study on port perspectives on biofouling management, with the main output in report format, which will be highlighting the biofouling related issues impact on ports, regulatory availability and gaps, positive and negative implications on ports, risk assessments, management and best practices, and data availability. The agreed tentative timeline for the launch of the report is during MEPC 82. The second is a study on identifying changes to water quality as a result of in-water cleaning of the biofouling on ships’ hulls. The methodology of the work was agreed in the previous meetings, however the tender for the testing company is currently ongoing with the deadline for proposals submissions by 29 February. The GIA have agreed that the study will be completed by the end of 2024.


The alliance has identified further gaps and potential new activities, however with the requirement to complete all the activities before the end of 2024 the alliance will continue its discussions and plan the ways forward to ensure its work sustainability.


About Nippon Paint Marine:

It has been developing marine coatings solutions for over 140 years, working with customers across 30 countries. In total, Nippon Paint Marine’s antifouling and other systems have been applied to over 40,000 vessels from tankers and container ships to cruise liners and yachts. With its own research & development facilities, Nippon Paint Marine focuses on improved operations, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs and emissions. 



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