The Australian Maritime Authority has released its latest Marine Notice on biofouling to update shipowners, operators, ports and marinas on antifouling requirements.
The notice provides general information on the 2015 Anti-fouling and In-water Cleaning Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand and the IMO’s Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimise the transfer of invasive aquatic species (the Biofouling Guidelines)
The 2015 guidelines for Australia and New Zealand provide information for the best practice on shore-based applications, maintenance, removal and disposal of antifouling coatings, and in-water cleaning of vessels and movable structures to minimise environmental risk. They were initially developed to align with the IMO’s biofouling guidelines.
The guidelines recommend that vessels and moveable structures be removed from the water prior to cleaning. Where this is not possible, biofouling management may be done by in-water cleaning, as long as the biosecurity and contaminant risks are managed in accordance with the 2015 guidelines.
AMSA’s update to the 2015 guidelines includes contact points in each relevant state, territory and commonwealth jurisdiction for assessing proposed in-water cleaning requests.
The IMO’s 2011 biofouling guidelines aim to minimise biofouling on all vessel types. AMSA has reported that in mid-2017 the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will review the effectiveness and uptake of the biofouling guidelines as well as the 2015 guidelines. They will then address any gaps in the implementation of the guidelines and develop a plan to address further issues on biofouling.