A series of training courses has taken place in several regions, designed to build capacity by increasing awareness of marine biofouling and the damage it can cause as a vector for the transfer of invasive aquatic species from one marine ecosystem to another. 

The “Introduction to Marine Biofouling: Impacts and Management of Risks” course provided those who took part with a detailed introduction to biofouling, along with management solutions and technologies available to tackle it. 

Topics covered include antifouling coatings, marine growth prevention systems, and technologies such as in-water grooming and cleaning designed to address biofouling challenges. Additionally, the course delved into the key components of the revised and recently adopted 2023 IMO Biofouling Guidelines and offered an overview of the status of national regulations globally. 

The training course, developed by the sister-project GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project, was intended for partner countries of the Accelerating Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies through demonstration pilots to reduce biofouling and related emissions” (TEST Biofouling) project.  


Read More: IMO Biofouling Guidelines 2023


The courses were delivered by the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) in the following regions:  

  • MTCC Caribbean delivered a four-day virtual training course to Suriname (12-15 September) and to Jamaica (30 October-2 November); 
  • MTCC Pacific delivered the course in-person to Tuvalu (11-13 October);   
  • MTCC Africa delivered training both online and in-person in Lagos, Nigeria to Comoros, Nigeria and Somalia (31 October-3 November). 

More than 150 course participants took part, including representatives from countries’ transportation and fisheries ministries, maritime administrations and port authorities, women in maritime organizations, climate and environment agencies, and training institutions.  


Read More: IMO CARES connects maritime decarbonization stakeholders


Most project partnering countries have now completed this training, as intended, by December 2023. It is anticipated the training course will soon be delivered to participants in China and Malaysia.  

TEST Biofouling is a four-year project (2022-2025) funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and implemented by IMO. 

The course is available on the IMO e-learning platform

Source: IMO


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Issue 87 of Robban Assafina

(Sept./ Oct. 2023)


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