International. Coatings company Hempel has increased its commitment to supporting the maritime industry's shift towards increasingly sustainable operations by joining the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for marine biosecurity.
The GIA, created under the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) GloFouling Partnerships project, is a cross-sectoral platform for collaboration.
Following Hempel's affiliation, the GIA comprises 13 private companies that work with governments, IMO and other non-governmental organizations to raise awareness of the environmental implications and risks associated with biofouling on ship hulls, identify common problems and promote solutions for mitigation.
The alliance also informs policy developments and shares technical expertise within NGOs.
"At Hempel, we are excited to join GIA for marine biosecurity. We believe that strong collaboration between all stakeholders – governments, NGOs and the maritime industry – is needed to identify challenges and accelerate solutions to decarbonise the maritime industry and protect marine environments," said Vice President and Head of Marine Alexander Enström.
"As a provider of hull performance solutions that can help prevent the accumulation of invasive species in hulls, as well as reduce fuel use and carbon emissions from ships, we look forward to participating in this collaboration," added Enström.
Biofouling on ship hulls can affect the environment in two ways. Ships sailing through different regions can facilitate the unintentional spread of invasive aquatic species, one of the five biggest threats to marine biodiversity.
In addition, the buildup of biofouling in a ship's hull generates drag and can significantly reduce efficiency levels, as more fuel is required to propel the ship through the water.
GIA members include marine coating companies, water cleanup service providers and marine growth prevention systems, shipping companies, and technical organizations. The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers also has observer status within the group.
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