As part of efforts to explore the newest technologies in Biofouling and in compliance with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is hosting a 3-day Biofouling Management Training for coastal states within the African continent.
Speaking at the opening session on Monday, Bashir Jamoh, the director general of NIMASA, said the training would showcase the newest technologies and their application including cost-effective practices and related benefits for the environment and efficiency of shipping.
“The importance of protecting and conserving our seas, oceans and their inhabitants cannot be overemphasized as we are intrinsically linked to them and their wellbeing reflects our own well-being too.
“Shipping is at the crux of global trading and the economy with about 90 percent of world trade and commerce facilitated through shipping. Studies, however, revealed that ships serve as a channel for the transportation of harmful non-indigenous Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS). These organisms attach themselves to the outer surface and niche areas of a ship and are then translocated from one eco-region to another. The process by which these organisms attach themselves to the ship and other surfaces is referred to as Biofouling,” he said.
Pointing out that Nigeria’s economy relies heavily on international trade, the NIMASA boss said that shipping is a key component of the country’s import and export activities, but it inevitably exposed the nation to threats of the IAS transfer into our territorial waters.
He further said a healthy ocean is a healthy future to distill the essence of the workshop on the transfer of environmentally sound technologies (TEST).
While welcoming all participants to the workshop, he encouraged the foreign delegates to explore and enjoy the fascinating sights of the coastal city of Lagos.
Also, Jose Matheickal, director, Head of Department of Partnerships and Projects at IMO, said the IMO is excited that NIMASA has taken the lead in the strategic MTCC Africa training on TEST Biofouling in Nigeria
“We have been encouraging more women to participate in the sector and we are very excited to find African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA) Nigeria and other women groups emerging in the maritime space,” he said.