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Invasive sea species (December 2021)
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The recent discussions between some country leaders, the representatives of some multinationals, and ecologist organizations during the COP 26 have given birth to texts reinforcing the necessity to establish policies to fight greenhouse gas emissions. However, this highlighting of the climate change process attributed to these gas emissions put other major pollutions in the shadow. A reason is that the solutions promoted to control and diminish the impact of climate change represent a very profitable industrial market when the control of other types of pollutions that are similar critical hazards for the planet does not offer the same profitability potential, although they are the topics of some IMO conventions and recommendations. It is the case of the fight against the proliferation of invasive marine species, which is partially linked to the fact that marine species living in a particular environment are transported to another location by the ships they temporarily niche on and develop in their new domain in detriment to the indigenous marine life. As a result, sea resources that feed human populations are ravaged and may definitively disappear. This problem is not new, as this process started as soon as humans began to cross oceans. However, scientists have highlighted the fact that it is increasing in proportion with the international maritime exchanges.
In addition to a more reduced interest than the fight against greenhouse effects, a reason for the delays in implementing these IMO guidelines, which recommend that a ship leaving an area of the world to another one must be thoroughly cleaned and are not only limited to the convention 2004 on the control of ballast waters, is that they create costs that must be absorbed and several problems for their organization. Some of these problems are the selection of the places where the cleaning operations are performed, the methods to eliminate these organisms and avoid their over proliferation in the areas of cleaning, and the controls to be in place to ensure that the vessels are entirely cleaned. Also, the cleansed ships must sail to their destination without any delay, and the standby periods resulting from the more frequent cleanings impact their availability. For these reasons, efficient procedures must be developed to do these operations in the best possible ways, and it is evident that it takes time. However, despite the problems above, things slowly evolute from pious lyrics to more concrete facts. For example, countries like Australia or New Zealand already apply these IMO guidelines and have emitted documents that can be taken as references. That has opened a profitable market for some companies specialized in hull cleaning. Nevertheless, the potential market is considerably more extensive and could replace the activities lost in the petroleum industry. Thus, what was previously a niche market may become an essential one.
Considering this fact, we have grouped some documents that can give an overview of the IMO conventions and guidelines and the cleaning procedures requested by the countries applying to them on this website. They can be opened and downloaded by clicking the links below. Note that we do not consider this topic closed with only these documents. - Documents published by IMO: International convention for the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments - 2004 - BWM/CONF/36. 2011 guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species - MEPC 62/24/Add.1. Guidance for minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species as biofouling (hull fouling) for recreational crafts - MEPC.1/Circ.792. Guidance for evaluating the 2011 guidelines for the control and management of ships biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species - MEPC.1/Circ.811. International trade and invasive alien species. - Documents published by the European community: Regulation No 1143/2014 of the European paliament and the council of the 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. - Documents published by theAustralian government: National Biofouling Management Guidance for Non-trading Vessels. National Biofouling Management Guidance for the petroleum and exploration industry. National Biofouling Management Guidance for commercial vessels. - Documents published by the government of New Zealand: Ballast water treatment systems. In-water systems to remove or treat biofouling in vessel. Biofouling on vessels arriving to new Zealand Guidance document for the craft risk management standard for biofouling. Advice to shipping: New Zealand’s new biofouling requirements. - Documents from governmental and private organizations: Guide on best practices of biofouling management in the Baltic sea (European regional devellopment fund) Marine Biofouling: A European Database for theMarine Renewable Energy Sector. Guidelines for invasive species planning and management on islands (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Template for a biofouling management plan (Institute of marine engineering). Report on the invasive species component of the MEDA's TDA & SAP for the ASCLME project Testing the efficacy of heated seawater for managing biofouling in ship’s sea chests (University of Wollongong - Australia) - Videos and animations: Invasive species (A. Michealoudis, T. Auld, B. Brett, K Sutton). Studying invasive marine species (Southern Cross University). Removing invasive species from ballast water (Smithsonian Institution). IMO - Protecting the oceans from invasive aquatic species. Fleet Cleaner - Ship hull cleaning without downtime. HullWiper - Underwater hull cleaning. KeelCrab - Presentation of a small ROV cleaner.