Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Policy puts the brakes on biofouling

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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), Media Release, 31 January 2022

International ships arriving in Australian waters will see a change in how they manage biofouling in 2022.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Deputy Secretary Andrew Tongue said a change in biofouling policy would have flow-on effects for international shipping.

Cargo ship being escorted to the Newcastle Harbour.

“Biofouling is the term we use for organisms – like clams, crabs, mussels or plants – that attach to ships and grow in places like the hull, propellers, bow thrusters and rudders,” Mr Tongue said.

“In order to reduce the risk of marine pests establishing themselves in Australia, changes have been made to the Biosecurity Regulation 2016.

Blue mussel shells attached to boat hull.

“On 15 June 2022, all vessels subject to biosecurity control will be required to provide information relating to biofouling management practices before they arrive in Australia.

“Just by introducing this small requirement, we can incentivise best practice to manage biofouling for all ships coming to Australia, and allow the department to focus our resources on managing risks.

“This also brings Australia into line with the International Maritime Organization’s 2011 biofouling guidelines.

“Simple steps can make a huge difference in how we can manage biosecurity in Australia.

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and we all have a role to play in keeping Australia safe from pests, weeds and disease.”



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