IPPIC Presents Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) Session on Biofouling and Invasive Species at World Ocean Council

Last week, The International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC) presented a special session at the World Ocean Council’s (WOC) 2018 Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) in Hong Kong.

The IPPIC-led session, “Biofouling and Invasive Aquatic Species: The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project – Opportunities for Business Collaboration and Implementation,” examined how the ocean business community – particularly ship owners and operators – can act to manage biofouling and mitigate the threat of invasive species.

IPPIC member companies are leaders in creating innovative and effective products that control or minimize biofouling, and which foster good hull-management practices in the global shipping fleet. Both IPPIC and WOC have worked to focus attention on biofouling, including its potential to serve as a vector for the introduction of invasive species and the significant threat to ocean biodiversity that this can pose.

A major international initiative to address biofouling – the GloFouling Project – is being launched with WOC as the lead implementer for engaging ocean industry action with and through key organizations, including IPPIC, which is a strategic partner of the initiative. The project is a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and is intended to help protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species. The GloFouling project focuses on preventing the transfer of aquatic species through biofouling on ships’ underwater hull and structures.

The IPPIC-led session fit the summit’s 2018 theme, “Ocean Sustainable Development – Connecting Asia and the World,” and sought to advance action by considering:

  • The GloFouling Initiative and the role of coatings in preventing invasive species;
  • Role of coatings in greenhouse gas reduction and greener shipping;
  • Regulatory and other challenges to effective biofouling management; and
  • The emergence of the maritime sector in China and how it impacts the market for antifouling technologies.

The development of innovative coatings that control biofouling on ships, offshore structures, and other key infrastructure involves not only technical research hurdles, but also a host of regulatory challenges producers must face bringing these products to market. Coatings researchers must balance the requirement for products that not only control biofouling effectively, but which do so in a way that is cognizant of the need to minimize ancillary environmental damage, including harm to other species that are not implicated in fouling. In this way, coatings scientists must balance the need for effective treatments while avoiding harm to the marine environment.

IPPIC and its members have long been leaders promoting effective biofouling management on a global level. In addition to its research and development activities to provide products to the global maritime industry, IPPIC has been a key contributor at the IMO, developing a biofouling management structure and template to help ship owners and operators put in place an effective biofouling management plan. IPPIC also works with business organizations, other non-governmental organizations, and all levels of government to help develop smart regulation of biofouling and hull management tools and products.

Notably, IPPIC is comprised of members representing associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Secretariat position is currently served by the American Coatings Association.

IPPIC provides a forum for information exchange and cooperation on the major issues and priorities facing the paint and printing ink industries worldwide.

For information about IPPIC and the activities it is involved in on behalf of the global paint and coatings industry, go to www.ippic.org.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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