IMO and States in the Red Sea and Gulf of
Aden region have begun developing a regional biofouling management strategy and
action plan to prevent the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
A meeting bringing together government
representatives from PERSGA member States* to coordinate efforts in the region
was held in Hurghada, Egypt (22-23 March).
The event was
organised by PERSGA under the GloFouling Partnerships project
The event was organised by PERSGA under
the GloFouling Partnerships project and follows earlier efforts in the region
such as the regional seminar conducted in 2021 to raise awareness on the issue
of ship's biofouling as one of the main vectors for the transfer of invasive
Participants agreed to an action plan on
PERSGA member States established a
Regional Task Force and elected its Chair (Jordan) for a 2-year term. Jordan is
a Lead Partnering Country of GloFouling Partnerships and has already made
considerable progress at the national level, with the development of a national
status assessment report and a draft national strategy. Participants also
discussed and agreed on the contents of a draft regional strategy and an action
plan on biofouling management that will help harmonize efforts, identify priority
activities and set a communication channel for knowledge sharing.
Regional efforts are
key to pooling resources, share experience and increase the number of countries
that develop national assessments and a national policy on biofouling
management, in line with the IMO Biofouling Guidelines to prevent invasive
aquatic species and protect their negative impacts on marine biodiversity. The
next steps in the region will be the endorsement of the draft strategy and its
action plan, and the implementation of the first activities identified,
followed by another meeting of the regional task force in 2023.