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Palfinger August 2022

RINA Workshop on Measures to Reduce Biofouling Accumulation in Niche Areas

22-24 November 2022, London, UK  


Biofouling 2020

Unintentional transfer of non-indigenous species through biofouling on ships and mobile offshore units can cause economic or environmental harm or pose risks to human health.

To address the risk of introducing non-indigenous species via biofouling’., the IMO MEPC Committee adopted the 2011 Guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species (resolution MEPC.207(62)) - referred to as the Biofouling Guidelines. The following year, the Biofouling Guidelines were supplemented by the Guidance for minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species as biofouling (hull fouling) for recreational craft (MEPC.1/Circ.792).


The intent of the measures and practices recommended in the Biofouling Guidelines is to keep relevant areas of ships, such as submerged surfaces and internal seawater cooling systems, “as free of biofouling as practical”. The Biofouling Guidelines identify a number of areas that pose additional challenges in terms of biofouling management. These areas are referred to as ‘niche areas’ and are defined as areas that “may be more susceptible to biofouling due to different hydrodynamic forces, susceptibility to coating system wear or damage, or being inadequately, or not, painted”. Examples of such areas include:

  • propeller thrusters and propulsion units;
  • sea chests and grates;
  • rudder stock and hinge;
  • stabilizer fin apertures;
  • rope guards, stern tube seals and propeller shafts;
  • cathodic protection anodes;
  • anchor chain and chain lockers;
  • free flood spaces inherent to the ships' design;
  • overboard discharge outlets and sea inlets; and
  • areas prone to anti-fouling coating system damage or grounding (e.g., areas of the hull damaged by fenders when alongside, leading edges of bilge keels and propeller shaft "y" frames).

The Biofouling Guidelines refer to initial ship design as one of the most effective means for minimising ship biofouling risks especially in terms of niche areas and provide a list of recommendations to be considered during the early design stages.

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), a strategic partner of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project, is organising a workshop on ‘Measures to Reduce Biofouling Accumulation in Niche Areas’. The aim is to gather information on the variety of measures applicable to existing ships and newbuild designs that can reduce biofouling accumulation. The workshop also aims to identify relevant knowledge gaps to help focus future research and development.

The workshop will include a session on issues associated with biofouling management practices related to niche areas to inform the discussion on potential solutions. The participants will then be invited to join one of several discussion groups reflecting their interests and expertise.


RINA would like to invite naval architects and shipping professionals who would like to contribute to the discussion on the topic to register for the event, which will take at IMO HQ in London. The workshop is free to attend.

Dates and registration details to follow.

If you have any questions please contact our conference organiser at:

Workshop Venue

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

4, Albert Embankment
United Kingdom

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Attendance at the RINA conferences and courses qualifies as Continuing Professional Development. Delegates at the course will receive a CPD Certificate

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