With effect from October 1, 2017 all vessels will have to submit a completed “Marine Invasive Species Program Annual Vessel Reporting Form” at least twenty four hours in advance of the first arrival of the calendar year at a California port.
Moreover, effective from 1 January 2018, 18, additional requirements for newly constructed vessels delivered into service on or after 01 January 2018, and to existing vessels beginning with completion of the first regularly scheduled out-of-water maintenance on or after 01 January 2018, will apply.
In order to comply with the requirements, all vessels calling at a California port, should have prepared the following:
- Development of a Biofouling Management Plan specifically for the vessel, providing a description of the biofouling management strategy for the vessel in sufficient detail to allow a Master or other appropriate ship’s officer or crew member serving on the vessel to understand and follow the biofouling management strategy.
- Creation and maintenance of a Biofouling Record Book, retained onboard the vessel, which must contain details of all inspections and biofouling management measures undertaken on the vessel since the beginning of the most recent scheduled out-of-water maintenance or since delivery into service as a newly constructed vessel if no out-of-water maintenance has yet occurred.
- Documentation of all biofouling management actions in the Biofouling Record Book, especially in niche areas such as sea chests and gratings, bow and stern thrusters and gratings, fin stabilizers and recesses, out-of-water support strips, propellers and shafts, and rudders. Biofouling management in these areas must be managed using biofouling management practices that are appropriate for the vessel and its service.
- For any vessel that has had an extended residency period since its most recent out-of-water maintenance, in-water treatment, or in-water cleaning, upon arrival to a California port, the vessel must be compliant with the management of biofouling in the niche areas described above, and any activities, including in-water inspection, in-water cleaning, in-water treatment, or out-of-water maintenance, to manage biofouling on the wetted surfaces of the vessel, except the niche areas, that accumulates as a result of the extended residency period shall be documented in the Biofouling Record Book.
Vessel Biofouling, is believed to be responsible for up to sixty percent of the established invasive aquatic species along the California coast.
Recently, IMO announced a new project concept with the aim to address further ships’ biofouling. The GloFouling project will focus on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to reduce the transfer of invasive aquatic species.