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GloFouling Partnerships launches GIA for Marine Biosafety

Shiprepair & Maintenance: June 2020SR&M Interim 2 HullWiper

The IMO has launched a Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine biosafety, which will work in cooperation with IMO’s existing GloFouling Partnerships Project and aims to accelerate the development of technology solutions in order to prevent hull biofouling.


Originally launched in 2018, the GloFouling Partnerships Project is a joint initiative between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the IMO, which was led by the UN to also address the harmful transfer of invasive aquatic species caused by biofouling.


Inaugurated on 8th June, the GIA for Marine biosafety will support IMO’s pressing objectives to protect marine biodiversity and decarbonise shipping. Its four founding companies comprises HullWiper, CleanSubSea, ECOsubsea and Sonihull, represent market leaders in shipping, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, and ocean renewable energies sectors, all of which are faced with biofouling challenges during their regular operations.


According to IMO, all four companies will work with itself and its UN agency partners to utilise human, technological and financial resources, as well as instigate industry input for developing policies. The organisation adds that the project hopes to generate positive engagement with reform processes and circulate technical solutions across the industry, which it says will improve biofouling management.


Jose Matheickal, head of IMO’s Department for Partnerships and Projects, explains: “This alliance is about the collective pioneering efforts by all maritime industries in undertaking the fight against invasive species and all the creativity and innovations that are being brought to the table to develop technological solutions. Forging such an alliance among the current four founding partners lays the foundations of a potentially very large global partnership among maritime industry players.”


Founding company HullWiper’s technology is purpose built as a diver-free, cost effective and environmentally friendly answer to underwater hull cleaning. The company has attended over 1,000 vessel hull cleans globally and its Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) uses pressure saltwater jets to remove and collect biofouling.


Commenting on the company’s contribution, Simon Doran, managing director at HullWiper, adds: “We are passionate about the power of our technology to help solves the pressing problem of hull fouling. Increasing efficiency and eliminating invasive species needs to be a priority for your sector, and we are proud to play our part alongside other marker leasers to help clean up our oceans.”