Minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species

UK P&I Club has issued a legal update on the introduction of invasive aquatic species (IAS) associated with global shipping, which it said had been identified as a significant threat to the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems. “Research suggests that 70-80% of IAS introductions occur through biofouling, and new areas are constantly being invaded”, said the Club.

Madlene Wangrau from Hamburg, Germany, currently on a work placement with the UK P&I Club, has produced a legal update on the matter (link below).

In 2011, the IMO adopted Resolution MEPC.207(62) outlining the Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships’ Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species. The Guidelines are supplemented by the Guidance for minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species as biofouling (hull fouling) for recreational craft circulated as MEPC.1/ Circ.792. Local governments including California, New Zealand and Australia have developed or are developing unilateral mandatory regulations which are more stringent than the IMO Guidelines.