Since its launch, with only four founding members in June 2020, the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety has been actively expanding with new members joining. DHI Water and Environment is the latest addition to the GIA, the alliance will be addressing pressing environmental issues, namely: Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.
One of the main pathways for IAS introduction into the marine habitat is biofouling. Once species are introduced, they take over the ecosystems and cause major economic impact on the coastal communities and industry. Mr. Con Strydom, Managing Director (Australia) of DHI Water and Environment, highlighted that “the cost of eradicating invasive marine species after they have established in a marine environment is far higher than preventing their invasion in the first place.”
Biofouling can have many negative effects on various maritime sectors, however the issue of increased GHG emission from ships can often be overlooked. Biofouling on ships' hulls increases hull surface roughness, which in turn increases frictional resistance and ultimately increases fuel consumption and total GHG emissions.
“The worldwide concern of global warming is of upmost importance. Vessel fuel consumption will be improved by proactive biofouling management. IMO’s GHG emissions strategy deadline of 2050 will approach fast and, therefore, we need to act now. Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosafety provides a platform for various industry members to come together and seek solutions to help achieve this goal.” stated Mr. Strydom.
The first GIA Task Force meeting is planned at the end of October, where members will convene to discuss and kick-off the GIA work. More marine industry representatives are expected to join before the meeting.
For more information on how to join the GIA: https://www.glofouling.imo.org/gia