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However, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment’s specialist director, Sveinung Oftedahl, said the IMO guidelines on biofouling were being revised to increase their uptake and effectiveness.

Mr Oftedahl said: ‘Revision of the guidelines is currently being undertaken by a dedicated sub-committee and work is progressing well, with completion expected next year’, adding that recommendations to prevent the spread of invasive species will be a “key issue” and will be “in part based on previous experience with, for example, the Ballast Water Management Convention standard”.

The launch event saw other presentations. Senior Surface Scientist Jotun Angelika Brink highlighted the difference in the extent of biofouling based on predictions and computer modeling, and the perception of actual biofouling. She said that while models may appear to overestimate the amount and impact of biofouling, the opposite is likely to be true, and the impact of biofouling is far greater than even predicted.

Showing a graph detailing Glofouling’s study on the impact of biofouling on emissions, she made a point about this and said that many would think that a 55% increase in greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse caused by only 1% biofouling coverage is incredibly high.

Ms. Brink then discussed the difficulties of quantifying fouling coverage based on observation, particularly when different types of fouling were present. It concluded that the actual data collected in the future would be improved by better correction for environmental factors, better understanding and estimation of coverage and fouling types, and better knowledge of the interaction of surface effects.

CHI members include Jotun, iKnowHow, Armach Robotics, Notilo Plus, Hapag-Lloyd, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, DNV, the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Litehauz, Port of Antwerp Bruges, ShipShave, VesselCheck, LimnoMar, Endures , CleanSubSea , the University of Maryland Environmental Science Center (Coastal Technology Alliance and Marine Environmental Resource Center, ACT/MERC) and the University of Strathclyde.

The alliance is open to new members and interested parties should contact Runa Skarbø.