Reducing Biofouling and Emissions Through Technology

Accelerating Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technologies (TEST) through demonstration pilots to reduce biofouling and related emissions

An IMO-Norad project to support the implementation of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines

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The TEST Biofouling Project

Building on the achievements of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships, the “Accelerating Transfer of Environmentally sound Technologies through demonstration pilots to reduce biofouling and related emissions” (TEST Biofouling) Project aims to further support developing countries in building their knowledge on control and management of biofouling and showcase effective approaches to biofouling management and the mitigation of environmental risks associated with the transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS).

Biofouling is the accumulation of aquatic organisms on wetted or immersed surfaces such as ships and other offshore structures and is a major vector for the introduction of alien species – Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) – that may severely impact marine biodiversity.

Technical Implementation Through the MTCCs

In the delivery of technology demonstration activities and capacity-building activities in relation to the implementation of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines, TEST Biofouling will be supported by the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) set up under the EU-funded Global MTCC Network Project (GMN).

MTCC Africa, under the TEST Biofouling Project, will act as an implementing partner, undertaking capacity-building engagements and showcasing the viability of key biofouling technologies through national demonstration pilots to be undertaken by Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) i.e., Madagascar, Mauritius, Jordan and Sri Lanka. Partnering Countries (PCs) will include Comoros, Djibouti, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan. Additionally, the Centre will undertake, with the support of IMO and Knowledge Partners, a regional demonstration project; and will act as the regional technology hub for the project providing support to countries in national demonstration technology aspects in order to ensure comparable results and exchange of best practices.

IMO Biofouling Guidelines

The 2023 Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species (Biofouling Guidelines) (resolution MEPC.378(80)) are intended to provide a globally consistent approach to the management of biofouling, which is the accumulation of various aquatic organisms on ships’ hulls. The Biofouling Guidelines were originally adopted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its sixty-second session in July 2011 and were the result of three years of consultation between IMO Member States; following a thorough review that also took three years, the revised Guidelines were adopted by the MEPC at its eightieth session in July 2023. The Biofouling Guidelines represent a decisive step towards reducing the transfer of invasive aquatic species by ships. Learn More

Recent News

MTCC Africa Biofouling Mission in Mauritius: Demonstrating Environmentally Sound Solutions to Manage Biofouling. Learn More

IMO-Norad TEST Biofouling Engagement with MTCC Africa: MTCC Africa and TEST Biofouling PCU discuss project activities. Learn More

Awareness Videos

IMO and Norway are actively working towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its heart. The TEST Biofouling project will substantially contribute to achieving the UN (SDGs)

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