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United Nations, May 2 (Canadian-Media/UN): A plan to protect the global marine environment from the dangers of non-indigenous invasive aquatic species has been launched by the United Nations (UN) Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), UN reports said.
Image Credit: IMO/Lee Adamson: A cleaning operation is being undertaken to remove organisms which have built up on a ship's hull. (1 June 2016)
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.
Image Credit: Photo: Biofouling Solutions | A commercial diver undertakes an in-water vessel inspection using surface supply with communications and a CCTV camera. (25 April 2011)
The transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) through biofouling is a global environmental problem which requires intervention at multiple levels.
Biofouling is described as the undesirable accumulation of microorganisms, algae, plants, and animals on submerged structures - particularly ships’ hulls. Biofouling often leads to the introduction of IAS into new areas and is considered to be one of the greatest threats to the world’s freshwater, coastal, and marine environments.
A multitude of marine species may survive transit and go on to establish a reproductive population in new host environments, becoming invasive, out-competing native species, and multiplying into harmful proportions.