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Introduction to Marine Biofouling Training Course

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MTCC Africa Hosts National Capacity Building Workshop on Marine Biofouling in Lagos, Nigeria

MTCC Africa, in partnership with the IMO-Norad TEST Biofouling Project, is pleased to announce the successful completion of the National Capacity Building Workshop on the ‘Introduction to Marine Biofouling, Impacts, and Management.’ The three-day training event, hosted by the Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), gathered delegates from three Partnering nations under the project, including the Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Comoros and the Federal Republic of Somalia. With a total of participants, the workshop featured the main trainer, Ms. Ramat Jalloh, a lecturer from the International Maritime Organization – International Maritime Law Institute (IMO-IMLI), who conducted the training under the theme, “The Place of Technologies in the Management of Marine Biofouling.

The primary focus of the workshop was to explore the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Biofouling Guidelines and how developing regions can effectively implement them in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was emphasized that biofouling has been identified as a major threat to the world’s oceans and biodiversity. To address this critical issue, both trainers and participants recognized the necessity for swift action through policy development, capacity building, awareness raising, and knowledge sharing of best practices. Therefore, the importance of the newly revised IMO Biofouling Guidelines cannot be overstated in this context.

During the forum, there was an inspiring session on ‘Women in Biofouling’, where it was noted that the subject of biofouling is well within the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG5. Practical examples by women in the panel were raised in a manner geared towards raising awareness and building capacity on the subject. In particular, Dr Oma Ofodile, the MTCC Africa Focal Point and the moderator for the panel discussion, emphasized the need for cooperation and collaboration between women in the maritime industry to enhance women’s participation in this crucial area.

In a remarkable opportunity during the workshop, participants also had the chance to visit the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island in Lagos, where they witnessed practical illustrations of biofouling management at the dry dock. Senior Naval officers at the base including Rear Admiral Abolaji Abolade Orederu, the Admiral Superintendent, Commodore Etop Epkainua Ebe, the General Manager Plans and Navy Captain Owens Ediale Adams Izilein, the General Manager Arsenal, highlighted the crucial role of the workshop in elucidating the necessity of biofouling management. It was emphasized that the Biofouling Guidelines accommodate training and awareness, underlining the importance of such measures.

MTCC Africa was able to conduct an online presentation during third day of the Biofouling Training Workshop featuring CEO of ECOsubsea, Tor M. Østervold, and Head of Sustainability, Abigail Robinson. The presentation, titled “Biofouling Management with ECOsubsea: Towards a Sustainable and Affordable Solution,” emphasized the interconnectedness of climate change, invasive species, and pollution in biofouling. They discussed the ‘big three’ biofouling problems, ECOsubsea’s sustainable solution development, and the importance of fit-for-purpose regulations. Ms. Robinson highlighted how solutions to biofouling should address all three issues to avoid becoming problems themselves. Østervold shared ECOsubsea’s journey in achieving sustainable solutions amidst regulatory challenges. The session concluded by stressing the role of scientific institutions and the shipping industry in shaping effective biofouling regulations that protect the environment and support innovation.

The TEST Biofouling project, an initiative by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), seeks to support the implementation of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines through effective approaches to biofouling management and the mitigation of environmental risks.

MTCC Africa is dedicated to advancing sustainable maritime practices and is committed to playing a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by marine biofouling and its related effects to ship emissions. This workshop marks another significant step toward preserving our oceans, reducing GHG emissions and ensuring the sustainable future of maritime industries.

For more information on MTCC Africa and its initiatives, reach out to us through email on copy

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