• 2020 February 21 10:43

    Biofouling demands collective, urgent and ‘proactive’ approach, stresses Bellona

    According to leading Norwegian environmental pressure group Bellona, the risks posed to both the environment and the sustainability of commercial shipping by biofouling should not be underestimated. The issue, which has yet to be tackled by any meaningful international legislation, apparently poses a serious threat ‘triumvirate’. However, as Bellona points out, by tackling it head on, especially through ‘proactive solutions’, a three-fold set of benefits can be realised by forward-thinking shipowners.

    Evil invaders

    Biofouling occurs when aquatic organisms accumulate on vessel hulls. Their growth creates hydrodynamic frictional drag that leads to vessel inefficiency. More fuel has to be burned to maintain operations, increasing both shipowner OPEX and emissions to air. In fact, according to the IMO, world fleet fuel consumption (and corresponding emissions) could fall by as much as 10% with better hull and propeller management.

    “In addition,” explains Sigurd Enge, Head of Shipping and Arctic, Bellona, “biofouling is the main culprit in the spread of marine invasive species, which can devastate ecosystems and drive local species extinction. That is compounded by climate change, which allows for greater species introduction, through new shipping lanes, while enabling invaders to survive at higher latitudes, such as in the Arctic, due to increased water temperature. That creates a snowball effect that we must arrest… before it’s too late.”

    The need for change

    Although the IMO and world shipping is tackling invasive species through regulations regarding ballast water management, biofouling has yet to receive the same attention (despite evidence suggesting it’s a far greater problem – a study from New Zealand attributed over 70% of invasive species to biofouling, with only 3% originating from ballast water).

    Enge says this is beginning to change, but not quickly enough.

    “New Zealand, Australia and California have initiated their own requirements and that shows the beginning of a ‘trend’, with these frontrunners leading the way for the rest of the industry,” he states. “However, collective action is necessary to create one standard that all must adhere to, and that has to come from the IMO… soon. This is a regulatory loophole that must be closed. Our world needs that, and society, driven by increased environmental awareness, will demand it.”

    Win win win

    But, he adds, shipowners shouldn’t see this as a burden, more of a “huge opportunity.”

    “Effectively dealing with biofouling is a win-win-win,” Enge states. “Clean hulls mean optimised fuel efficiency and that greatly reduces operational cost. That in turn means less emissions to air and a better environmental profile. Then, of course, there’s no invasive species spread, and that is essential for the well-being of our marine ecosystems. It is, quite simply, a ‘no brainer’.”

    Time to get proactive

    However, better in-water hull cleaning solutions are needed to tackle the challenge effectively, with some current practices arguably exacerbating the problem they’re meant to address. For example, Enge says, manual diving teams and remotely operated machinery that scrub hulls often simply dislodge biofouling into the water, effectively facilitating invasive species spread. The process can also damage a vessel’s anti-fouling coating, releasing potentially toxic biocides into the water. Because of this, cleaning with capture or offshore is certainly preferable, he imparts, but for the optimal solution, the industry needs to be ‘proactive’.

    “The best approach is definitely a proactive cleaning solution,” he states. “If you stop organisms from growing in the first place you prevent the problem, simple as that. That means neither the shipowner nor the environment ever has to pay the price for the transportation of biofouling. At Bellona we’d like to see more work on this – solutions that act as guardians for both vessels and nature, helping this industry move more sustainably into the future.”

    Bellona is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to tackling climate challenges and help facilitate sustainable environmental solutions. Founded in 1986, the foundation is headquartered in Oslo with international offices in Brussels, St Petersburg and Murmansk, Russia.

    About Bellona

    The Bellona Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that aims to meet and fight the climate challenges, by identifying and implementing sustainable environmental solutions. We work towards reaching a greater ecological understanding, protection of nature, the environment and health. Bellona is engaged in a broad range of current national and international environmental questions and issues around the world. The Bellona Foundation was founded in 1986. We are currently 57 employees, working at the main office in Oslo and our three international offices in Brussels (Belgium / EU) Murmansk (Russia) and St. Petersburg (Russia). We have websites in Norwegian, English and Russian. Our area of expertise is broad, and the staff is comprised of individuals with extensive professional background. With over 30 years of experience, we have established a unique network both nationally and internationally. Our work has gained international attention within several disciplines, and Bellona`s advisors are frequently sources and experts on climate change issues both in national and international press.




2020 March 31

18:06 APM Terminals Nigeria donates $US 200,000 to UN Nigeria Basket Fund
17:51 New publication offers updated maritime security guidance for mariners operating off West Africa and Gulf of Guinea
17:36 Manila ports fear shut down due to continued cargo congestion
17:20 Floating workshop of RF Navy's Baltic Fleet completed tasks in Mediterranean Sea
17:06 Yang Ming reveals 2019 financial report
16:55 State Duma of Russia approved in first reading expansion of resource base for LNG production projects
16:23 Rolls-Royce supplies innovative propulsion system for new multi-purpose vessels in the North and Baltic Seas
16:18 Nauticor and Novatek cooperate in the development of small-scale LNG supply infrastructure in the Baltic Sea
15:28 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
15:04 ClassNK establishes "Rules for the Survey and Construction of Governmental and Naval Ships"
14:42 NOVATEK declares LNG transshipment in Norway to be a temporary measure caused by Covid-19 pandemic
14:23 Wärtsilä Translink becomes first ever solution fully compliant with latest IEC and DNV GL Cyber Security rules
13:36 Krasnoye Sormovo to build three more ships of RSD59 design
13:09 Hapag-Lloyd revises North Europe – CAF May 1, 2020
12:51 Navigation season opens at Coal Sea Port of Shakhtersk
12:27 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard completed sea and mooring trials of Pola Yaroslava, dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59
12:09 Verifavia partners with OSM Maritime Group to provide IHM services
11:44 Operations under quarantine arranged by Troitsa Bay Seaport (MPBT)
11:30 Vostochny Port arranged operations under quarantine
11:08 ABS supports U.S. COVID-19 response
10:45 Cruise shipping to be suspended in the port of Kiel until end of April
10:08 COSCO SHIPPING Holdings announces 2019 results
09:46 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Mar 31
09:33 Baltic Dry Index is down to 548 points
09:16 Brent Crude futures price is up 2.12% to $26.99, Light Sweet Crude – up 5.67% to $21.25
09:08 Sergey Shishkarev headed the Board of Directors of PJSC TransContainer
08:44 Hapag-Lloyd appoints new executive in Asia
08:44 Aker Solutions secures brownfield services contract in Brunei

2020 March 30

18:30 Ecochlor announces collaboration with Horizon Air Freight to expand shipping services
18:15 Inmarsat takes founding role in first Decarbonising Shipping programme for Asian start-ups
18:05 Start of cruise season in Kiel to be postponed until end of April
17:57 Globaltrans’ profit for 2019 climbed 16% YoY to RUB 22.7 billion
17:03 CMA CGM announces PSS from Romania to the Mediterranean
16:35 OOCL announces Transpacific product update
16:20 About 40 small- and mid-size ships to be built for Russia’s Far East by 2025
16:03 ClassNK releases Guidelines for Non-destructive Inspection by Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing
15:45 Gasum to supply Preem with renewable maritime fuel
15:24 Two ferries operate between seaports of Kaliningrad and Ust-Luga
15:03 NuStar extends Svitzer contract in Point Tupper, Canada, by five years
14:58 5G innovation put to a practical use in the Port of Zeebrugge
14:46 Global Ports terminals add new transit intermodal service from Europe to Asia via Russia
14:28 BPO and BTJ prepared overview of measures introduced in ports and shipping lines within Baltic Sea region
14:02 Port Houston posts cargo volume results for Feb 2020
13:51 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO fell to RUB 8,177 in RF spot market
13:20 Wärtsilä signs agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship in Japan for deployment of innovative gate rudder technology
13:10 Maersk’s first intercontinental train from Europe to Asia dispatched from St. Petersburg
13:03 Tianjin Port Development announces 2019 unaudited annual results
12:29 United Shipbuilding Corporation establishes center for prevention of Covid-19 spread
12:02 Ports of Bremen fully functioning
11:37 Abu Dhabi, UAE to host ADIPEC 2020 on November 9-12
11:12 MABUX Digest: Top events on global bunker market. Week 13
11:02 First-stage land usage permit issued to APM Terminals Poti
10:50 KN moves its LNG Terminal from its normal location due to cleaning work
10:28 Port of Riga reports no significant changes in cargo handling
10:21 Panama Canal backs efforts to expedite return home of the passengers and crew on Holland America’s Zaandam
10:04 NCSP Group published its consolidated financial results for 12 months 2019
09:41 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Mar 30
09:26 RF Government limits crossing of state border checkpoints
09:09 Baltic Dry Index is down to 556 points

2020 March 29

16:29 Coast Guard and a salvage towing company rescued three people near Key Largo