The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is asking recreational boat owners worldwide to take part in a global survey on how they deal with fouling on their craft, as part of a major project to help address the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The survey for owners of all types of sailing boats, motorboats and yachts is being carried out by IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships Project, which aims to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species.
Boat owners are asked to provide information in the short survey on their location, what kind of anti-fouling paint or system they use, where do they moor and winter the boats, preferences for cleaning, challenges, and so on.
The results will help identify the main challenges and what kind of solutions would be easier to implement.
Apart from improving the environmental performance of their boats, it could save them money spent on fuel or on cleaning the hull when it is too late (and there is so much biofouling it has spoilt the paint).
The survey is available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.
The survey has the support and collaboration of World Sailing, ICOMIA and IUCN.
A recently-launched film explains the role of recreational boating in relation to the introduction of Invasive Aquatic Species via biofouling.
Watch the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwyDmIkwmaY&feature=youtu.be
Biofouling or biological fouling is the accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, or animal species on boat hull surfaces. It is a pathway that helps non-indigenous species to spread from one geographical area to another, where they can become invasive and have serious impacts on their adopting habitat.