Invasive Marine Species - What are they?
The introduction of invasive aquatic species to new environments by ships has been identified as a major threat to the world’s oceans and to the conservation of biodiversity. A multitude of marine species, carried either in ships’ ballast water or on ships’ hulls, may survive to establish a reproductive population in the host environment, becoming invasive, out-competing native species and multiplying into pest proportions.
The problem of invasive species carried by ships has intensified over the last few decades due to the expanded trade and traffic volume. Quantitative data shows that the rate of bio-invasions continue to increase at an alarming rate and new areas are being invaded all the time. The damage to the environment is often irreversible. Moreover, significant economic impact occurs to industries that depend on the coastal and marine environment, such as tourism, aquaculture and fisheries, as well as costly damage to infrastructure.
Australia and New Zealand Biofouling Security - What are they?
All international shipping activity arriving in Australia and New Zealand are required to comply with stringent biofouling management requirements.
Inbound ships are required by law* to report on their biofouling management protocols as well as the ship’s voyage history in the preceding 12 months via the pre-arrival report in accordance with the International Maritime Organzation’s (IMO) 2011 Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ship’s Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species.
In addition to the implementation of an effective biofouling management plan, all vessels entering Australia and New Zealand’s territorial waters are required to be cleared of all biofouling on the ship hull and hull niche areas within 30 days prior to entry. Vessels that do not meet the prescribed compliance requirements will be directed to leave Australia and New Zealand waters, forgoing their right to arrive at their intended port of call.
*In Australia, the Biosecurity Amendment (Biofouling Management) Regulations 2021 and in New Zealand, the Biosecurity Act 1993 and the Craft RIsk Management Standard (“CRMS”) by the Ministry of Primary Industries (“MPI”)
Cleaning to Biofouling Security standards vs normal hull cleaning - How are they different?
A normal hull cleaning would entail the cleaning of all areas on the external hull.
To meet Biofouling Security Standards, the cleaning of niches areas are also required. Such niche areas are areas that are susceptible to coating system wear or damage, or being insufficiently painted / not painted. These include but are not limited to bilge keels / stabiliser fins, sea chests’ internals, overboard pipe openings, bow / stern thrusters, transducers, propeller shafts, rudder horn areas, vessel draft marks, dry-dock support strips etc.
"Your Partner in sustainability - What we can offer"
Divetech Marine is a trusted industry partner, performing cleaning operations for thousands of vessels through the years to comply with various Biofouling Security regulations and requirements set by authorities in multiple jurisdictions.
Our familiarity with specific regulations and relationships with various regulatory bodies enable us to help our clients successfuly navigate these requirements. Divetech’s experience and expertise in this area means that we are able to perform these cleaning works to specified requirements, including hard to reach and niche areas where other service providers may miss or omit.