FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

IMO/Lee Adamson A cleaning operation is being undertaken to remove organisms which have built up on a ship’s hull. (1 June 2016)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


A plan to protect the global marine environment from the dangers of non-indigenous invasive aquatic species has been launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The transfer of sea life including plants, crustaceans and micro-organisms – largely on the hulls of ships – from one part of the world to another, has increased alongside the growth of the global shipping industry.

But now the UN has got together with a number of countries in an attempt to prevent what is called ”bio-fouling”, an issue which not only effects the marine ecosystems but also the communities which depend on those environments for their livelihoods.

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