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Indonesia joins efforts to tackle invasive aquatic species

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

The GloFouling Partnerships continues to build up institutional arrangements to deal with the issue of invasive aquatic species transferred through marine biofouling. Indonesia was the latest country to discuss the needs for the development of a national strategy during a recent workshop meeting.

The Directorate General for Sea and Transportation organised the workshop from 28 to 29 October in Jakarta. The event included participation from a wide range of stakeholders, particularly universities and research institutions. The National Focal Point, Captain Sudiono Soenardjo Wijaya, inaugurated the event and expressed the commitment of Indonesia to protect the marine environment and to finding sustainable solutions that may be replicated throughout the South East Asia region.

Participants were offered an overview of the national biofouling regulations that are expected to enter into force in 2020 in Australia. The Australian Department of Agriculture, represented by Ms. Sonia Gorgula, Assistant Director of Marine Biosecurity, explained the approach and experience in relation to the development of their national policy.

The workshops introduced participant to the key aspects related to invasive species, biofouling and its role as a pathway, the existing regulatory framework at the international level and the essential elements for the development of a national policy. The workshop included an analysis of the current state of affairs and reviewed the institutional arrangements at the national level, particularly discussing how to improve integration of academic research into the work of the future national task force. Participants also assessed the capacity building activities that will be needed at the national level to support the implementation of a policy to deal with biofouling.

The programme included presentations by Professor Utama, from the Department of Naval Architecture in the Sepuluh Nopember Technology Institute, and Dr. Mochammad Riyanto, from the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), who provided updates on the research by the Biofouling Research Group on ship drag and fuel consumption, and the programme of port biological baseline surveys conducted in the six main Indonesian ports: Belawan, Batam, Bitung, Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak and Soekarno-Hatta. Ms. Aimee Gonzales, Executive Director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), presented an outlook of regional aspects.

Finally, the workshop also included a presentation on a new antifouling solution based on mangrove leaves (Rhizophora apiculata and Sonneratia alba) developed by students from the SMAN 3 secondary school in Denpasar, Bali, that have recently won an award at the International Science and Invention Fair for young people.

The meeting was part of the efforts led by the GloFouling Partnerships to assist developing countries to tackle the issue of invasive aquatic species transferred through biofouling. Research is increasingly showing that biofouling of ships’ hulls and other mobile structures is in fact, a major transfer pathway for non-indigenous species, at least as important as ballast water.

As the world’s largest island country, Indonesia is a fertile ground for biofouling growth. ​Furthermore, Indonesia lies on an important trade route between East Asia - Australia - South Asia - Africa - and Europe. ​Owing to this strategic location, the Indonesian seas are one of the busiest shipping lines in the world. Indonesia is also one of the main global producers of mariculture and has a strong offshore industry.

The next step for the GloFouling Partnerships in Indonesia 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.

More pictures of the event can be found in the album on GloFouling's Flickr gallery.



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