• 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 April 8

11:30 IAPH Tokyo secretariat transited to remote work from home
11:05 SAFEEN acquires its largest service vessel to date
11:02 BC Ferries adjusted service levels due to Covid-19 pandemic
10:39 ABB increases remote support for ships to help customers during the COVID-19 outbreak
10:38 Port of Gdansk actively supports fight against coronavirus
10:16 Tallink Grupp’s vessels Megastar, Galaxy and Baltic Princess suspend passenger transport to Finland
09:53 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 08
09:40 Bunker prices start going up at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 596 points
08:47 Golden Ocean announces appointment of Ulrik Uhrenfeldt Andersen as CEO

2020 April 7

18:38 RF Government makes big decision to quit transshipment of NOVATEK’s LNG in Norway
17:27 BashVolgotanker opens navigation with first tanker leaving Samara for Kavkaz
17:03 IADC moves its seminar and course to 2nd half of 2020
16:49 RF Navy’s oceanographic research vessel "Admiral Vladimirsky" arrived in the Durville Sea
16:05 ECSA and ETF launch joint project WESS
15:51 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
15:43 Port of Rotterdam adds Boxinsider to Portbase
15:28 Dredging works at LNG terminal in Klaipeda Seaport completed ahead of schedule
15:04 VTT to assess bio- and waste-based oils suitable for power plants and ships
14:43 Nordic Investment Bank is sponsoring expansion of Klaipeda Seaport
14:20 AET and TOTAL agree time charter for two LNG dual-fuel VLCCs
13:52 Rosmorport changed tariffs on crew boats services rendered in seaports of Eysk and Temryuk
13:29 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard introduced short-time operation till 30 April 2020
12:54 Rosmorport announces tender to reconstruct coastal facilities of Vanino-Kholmsk ferry service
12:26 Rosmorport announces tender to build and reconstruct port infrastructure in Nikolskoye settlement
11:47 Hydrographic vessel of RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet continues its long-distance cruise to Antarctica
11:09 Hurtigruten temporarily suspends operations
10:25 Brent Crude futures price is up 3% to $34.04, Light Sweet Crude – up 3.53% to $27
10:08 Stena Line to furlough 600 employees and make 150 redundant in UK and the Republic of Ireland due to COVID-19
09:53 Extraordinary security measures undertaken by PORT FLEET operating in Big Port St. Petersburg
09:34 Nuclear-powered container carrier Sevmorput unloaded cargo for Arctic LNG 2 project
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is down to 604 points
09:02 Austria's overseas traffic via Hamburg remains stable
08:46 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 07
08:19 LR chosen for LNG Canada export terminal project in Kitimat

2020 April 6

18:37 Okeanis Eco Tankers announces three year VLCC time charter
18:06 Bureau Veritas helps to manage risk thanks to digitalized inspection services
17:45 Turnover of DeloPorts terminals in January-March of 2020 reached 2.6 mln tonnes, up 44% YoY
17:39 The production of Tallink’s new car and passenger ferry MyStar has started at Rauma shipyard
17:12 Maersk Container Industry signs first Star Cool milestone contract with Evergreen
17:06 Lloyd’s Register completes six-day, three-person audit for marine and offshore component and equipment business Whittaker Engineering
16:30 8,800 cbm of material dredged in Korsakov seaport
16:08 MABUX Digest: Top events on global bunker market: Week 14
16:06 CMA CGM cancels PSS for cargo from East Africa to Asia
15:59 The Korean Register releases the latest updated version of KR-CON
14:50 DNV GL’s new MMC unlocks unprecedented machinery efficiencies and insights
13:57 Technical fleet of Moscow Canal to begin navigation season on April 24
13:33 Construction of Tallink Grupp’s newest eco-friendly LNG-powered shuttle ferry to begin at RMC shipyard in Rauma
12:46 World Ports Covid19 Information Portal established
12:22 IMO issues guidance for delays in newbuild vessel deliveries due to COVID-19
12:00 Nanjing Jinling Shipyard launches the second of G5GG ro-ro vessels for Grimaldi Group
11:18 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO fell to RUB 6,299 in RF spot market
11:00 Port of Singapore remains open amidst additional precautionary measures
10:21 Brent Crude futures price is down 1.61% to $33.56, Light Sweet Crude – down 3.18% to $27.43
10:09 NovaAlgoma Short Sea Carriers takes delivery of new mini-bulker
09:50 CIMC Raffles cuts first steel for largest Ice Class ro-ro
09:34 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 06
09:32 RF Government approves draft Energy Strategy until 2035
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is down to 616 points

2020 April 5

17:08 USCG oversees disembarkation of 250,000 from cruise ships