KCC Corporation, based in the Republic of Korea, is the latest company to join the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety, a platform for industry collaboration set up under IMO's GloFouling Partnerships project. The members of the GIA represent a wide range of maritime industries with an interest in ship's biofouling management. 

The goal of the GIA is to identify solutions to improve biofouling management and address two related environmental issues, namely Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships.

IMO has recognized that ships' biofouling is a major vector for the introduction of invasive aquatic species to new environments, which has the potential to cause harm to the world's oceans and to the conservation of marine biodiversity. Maintaining ships and other moving submerged structures clean from biofouling will minimize the risk of introduction and further spread of invasive aquatic species. This means that the use of anti-fouling coatings and paints is of paramount importance. IMO's Biofouling Management Guidelines identified anti-fouling systems as the primary means of biofouling prevention and control.

Mr. K.J. Kang, Senior Manager at the Coating System Design Department of KCC Corporation, said: "The worldwide concern over global warming is critical. Proactive biofouling management will reduce vessel fuel consumption. By joining the GIA, KCC Corporation shows its commitment to helping the shipping industry to accelerate the development and adoption of solutions to improve the management of marine biofouling."

Managing biofouling brings benefits in terms of curbing GHG emissions from ships. The preliminary results from the most recent GIA study 'Impact of Ships' Biofouling on Greenhouse Gas Emissions' shows that in the short to medium term, improved biofouling management  will contribute to reducing the carbon intensity of the shipping sector. Here again, a number of readily available technologies such as biofouling control coatings and other anti-fouling systems have an important role to play.

For more information on how to join the GIA: https://www.glofouling.imo.org/gia

The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships is a five-year global project aimed at protecting biodiversity by tackling the transfer of harmful aquatic species through biofouling in some of the developing regions of the world. The project encourages the sharing and adoption of technologies and innovative solutions that can improve biofouling management across all maritime industries and the energy efficiency of ships.