1st Global Conference on Biofouling Management for Maritime Industries
The IMarEST’s 1st Global Conference on Biofouling Management for Maritime Industries will bring together specialists from across this multidisciplinary and multisectoral field to support the development of a practical and sustainable path forward for maritime industries to achieve outcomes that will better protect the global maritime environment.
The settlement and growth of biofouling species on surfaces immersed in the sea, whether they are ship hulls, drilling rigs, or aquaculture nets, can compromise operational performance as well as enabling the movement of marine species along coasts or across seas. Although a phenomenon that has happened since mariners first set sail, the management of biofouling in, and by, maritime industries has become a subject of increasing global interest because of the need to reduce the GHG emissions for shipping, the need for increased seafood production through aquaculture, and concerns on the spread of invasive marine species. However, the path forward is not a straight road. Keeping immersed surfaces free of biofouling for extended periods mostly means applying a coating that continually releases biocide to prevent the attachment of biofouling organisms, and/or regular in-water cleaning to remove and growth that has attached. But do these biocides and coatings have adverse environmental impacts? And what is the fate and effects of in-water cleaning waste? The impacts of species spread as biofouling are also far from clear. Do introduced marine biofouling species reduce local biodiversity, or increase it by occupying disturbed and modified environments? And how do regulations imposed to protect states against the perceived invasive marine species threat impact on industries?
The 1st Global Conference on Biofouling Management for Maritime Industries is a forum for the discussion of these and other issues to support the development of a practical and sustainable path forward for maritime industries to achieve outcomes that will better protect the global maritime environment.