A new IMO video that highlights the importance of maintaining smooth and clean ships’ hulls free from biofouling has been launched (13 December) at IMO Headquarters. The video explains how reducing and managing biofouling is key to improving fuel efficiency in ships and reducing GHG emissions.
Biofouling is the accumulation of aquatic organisms on wetted or immersed surfaces such as ships and other offshore structures.
The video also spotlights the results of the report Analysing the Impact of Marine Biofouling on the Energy Efficiency of Ships and the GHG Abatement Potential of Biofouling Management Measures which highlights that a layer of slime as thin as 0.5 mm covering up to 50% of a hull surface could trigger an increase of GHG emissions in the range of 25 to 30% depending on ship characteristics, its speed, and other prevailing conditions. These percentages can be much higher for more severe biofouling conditions, depending on the type of ship and other parameters.
How biofouling management cuts GHG emissions
The development of new technologies for preventing and managing biofouling is also featured in the new video as an essential component of the goal of reducing GHG emissions.