• Recent conferences and presentations

    Recent conferences and presentations


    Over the last couple of months we have attended numerous exhibitions and conferences around the world, giving presentations on various topics or sitting on panels to discuss the future of sustainable shipping.

    In this article you can read an account of two of the more recent conferences we took part in: the Workshop on Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping in Australia and the Pacific Ballast Water Group meeting in California. Besides these two conferences, we also took part in the 2nd Annual European Renewable energy in London, Green ship technology 2013 in Hamburg, the World ocean Council in Washington DC, the 9th Artic shipping forum in Helsinki, Green Tech 2013 in Vancouver, the Hull Management and Performance conference in London and many other events.

    Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Workshop on Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping
    Melbourne 5 - 9 May 2013

    We attended the Workshop on Biofouling Management for Sustainable Shipping held in Melbourne, Australia May 5 - 9, 2013 which brought together some of the world’s leading scientists along with representatives of the IMO and a variety of government agencies in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific states of the USA, plus representatives from industry, shipping and other organizations and groups all interested in the subject of ship hull fouling, its effect on fuel efficiency, its role in spreading aquatic invasive species and how best to manage it.

    The New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority has completed a reassessment of biocides permitted in antifouling paint in New Zealand. Current recommendations are not final but include revoking approvals of Chlorothalonil and Irgarol 1051, phasing out three biocides currently in use, Diuron, Octhilione and Thiram over a four year period, and imposing additional controls on eight other biocides including copper. The full recommendations in their current form (at time of publication) can be found here.

    The work done by New Zealand’s EPA might well be embraced by the MEPC of the IMO with a view to expanding the list of harmful toxic substances which may not be used in antifouling paints per the AFS Convention and its Annex.
    The workshop included many speakers on a wide variety of topics ranging from the state of regulatory action regarding antifouling paints and in-water cleaning to biosecurity in the ANZPAC area, new developments in underwater ship hull coatings and many other related topics.

    Many speakers echoed the value of the principle of ships sailing with a clean hull, expressed by the phrase “clean before you go.” The problems of trying to combine in-water cleaning with the current crop of biocidal antifouling coatings and foul-release coatings was not, however, satisfactorily addressed.

    It’s not easy to summarize such a diverse set of subjects and speakers, but the overall impression was that the subjects of biodiversity and biosecurity in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific are becoming more pressing, that current approaches to limiting the spread of invasive aquatic species without other harmful environmental effects are not adequate and that answers are being sought. Unfortunately the general acceptance of biocidal antifouling coatings as a necessary evil in dealing with the problem shows a lack of information on and understanding of the alternative non-toxic approach in the form of surface treated composites and in-water cleaning of hulls, as described fully in the Surface Treated Composites White Book by Boud Van Rompay.

    It was certainly encouraging to see that the subject of biofouling and the translocation of aquatic invasive species is receiving greater attention and also that at least in New Zealand, the harmful effects of biocides currently in use have come under scrutiny and regulation.

    The surface treated composite (STC) is a completely non-toxic solution to the hull-borne aquatic invasive species problem and as more and more biocides are recognized as environmentally hazardous, it is bound to lead to wider use of STCs.

    Pacific Ballast Water Group meeting
    Vallejo, California, April 16-17, 2013

    Hydrex is a member of the Pacific Ballast Water Group and, as such, David Phillips, Hydrex Communications Exec, was asked to give a presentation on Ecospeed and the non-toxic approach to biofouling management and how to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species at the PBWG meeting held at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California, in April 2013.
    The PBWG was formed in 1998 to promote development and implementation of safe, economical, effective management of aquatic nuisance species associated with West Coast shipping. Concentrating originally on ballast water as the main vector of translocation, the decision was taken to include hull fouling as a part of the group’s scope of activity. The PBWG serves as a coordinating body to share information and formulate consensus solutions on ballast water management and research issues of common concern to regulators, managers, scientists and the shipping industry on the West Coast (Canada, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska).

    The PBWG has annual meetings which are well-attended, mostly in person but also by call-in on the part of Washington, DC based EPA, Coast Guard and other government agencies and sometimes the more far-flung participants such as the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Hawaii, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada and others who are unable to attend in person but wish to participate.

    The 2013 PBWG meeting was held at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California, home to the Golden Bear research and training ship among other facilities. It was attended by representatives of USDOT Maritime Administration (MARAD – who own the Golden Bear), the California State Lands Commission who are responsible for invasive species programs in California, Washington and Oregon states, and a number of others from industry and science interested in the aquatic invasive species problem in the Pacific Northwest.

    As providers of a non-toxic approach to eliminating the translocation of aquatic invasive species via ship hull fouling, Hydrex was invited to give a presentation. The subject matter of the presentation was how to prevent invasions by using a cleanable, hard coating combined with cleaning a hull before a ship sails, and how to accomplish this economically and effectively. The subject matter is covered fully in Hydrex White Paper No. 8, Invasive Aquatic Species – A proposed alternative solution, available for free download at www.shiphullperformance.org, and in Surface Treated Composites White Book by Boud Van Rompay, available at www.tahokapress.com.

    The meeting was concluded with a tour of the Golden Bear facility led by Bill Davidson, Chief Engineer of the research ship and Director of the Golden Bear facility.