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P23GT90SGV Maritime Biosecurity
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Maritime Biosecurity

Prevent, control, and manage the introduction and spread of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens that can pose a threat to human health, the environment, and the economy. This course will equip you with a holistic understanding of both the nature of the threat, the components that constitute it and some suggested actions that may be undertaken to manage the problem proactively

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Register 2 and third attends free


Key Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with the concept of ‘marine biosecurity’
  • Know what some of the current legislation is
  • Understand the variety of negative impacts that can occur within a local marine habitat from an invasive exotic species
  • Know what is meant by the term ‘biofouling’
  • Become familiar with biosecurity planning and understand the components of the process
  • Be able to assess the key factors from a surveying perspective that might lead to contamination of a local marine habitat
  • Grasp the key importance of stakeholder engagement
  • Understand the necessity of organisations paying attention to their corporate social responsibilities within this area
  • Gain an insight into what is meant by ‘Cyber-biosecurity’ and why this is important
  • Consider the ramifications of digitalisation and what this might mean for organisations engaged within maritime or maritime related activities

About the Course

International maritime trade is truly a global activity. A plethora of different vessels ply the world’s oceans and seas on a 24/7 basis carrying every conceivable type of cargo across all points of the compass.

The bustling activity of maritime trade, however, is not without its consequences. Herein lies one of the most serious environmental threats facing the planet today – the disruption, invasion or complete destruction of a local marine ecosystem due to the introduction and establishment of aggressive, non-indigenous species.

Maritime vessels act as the prime vectors for this occurrence. Foreign species may be contained within ballast water or may simply ‘hitch’ a lift on a vessel’s hull. When ballast water is vented, an exchange will take place between the flora and fauna present from the previous destination(s) and that present at the current location.

‘Biofouling’ on ship hulls allows carriage of foreign organisms that may simply ‘drop off’ a hull or enter into some form of reproductive stage once within a different location. As port congestion continues to increase around the world – there is ever greater scope of transference and ‘cross-contamination’ inter-vessel with ships laying at anchor in queues awaiting their turn to load and discharge cargoes.

Many communities and commercial enterprises within coastal regions rely on their local marine habitat – from fishing and diving to tourism and aquaculture. The threat of contamination is serious in terms of the longer-term prognosis for loss or damage – livelihoods can be lost, and there is a significant economic/cost factor to consider in attempting to combat and control these intruders.

Governments around the world are recognising the seriousness of this issue and are taking action to address it. There is a growing body of legislation, rules, and regulations evolving to protect marine ecosystems and promote sustainable shipping practices.

This course has been specifically designed to inform and equip the delegates with a holistic understanding of both the nature of the threat, the components that constitute it and some suggested actions that may be undertaken to manage the problem proactively. By providing the knowledge and tools necessary to address the issue of invasive species in maritime trade, we can work together to preserve our invaluable marine ecosystems for future generations.

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Christopher Lennon



  • What is marine biosecurity?
  • The scope of potential threat – the ‘latitudinal commonality’ and global warming
  • Methodologies of contamination – international trade and the movement of people/ animals and related products
  • Economic cost/damage – speed of identification and containment
  • The importance of containment strategies and control measures
  • The role of training and awareness of personnel
  • Risks and impact assessment

Some relevant legislation

  • The Biosecurity Act 2015 (Australia)
  • MPSEAS (IMO – Marine Environment Protection of the South-East Asian Seas)
  • The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  • The Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS-BIOFOUL) (New Zealand)
  • The IMO Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ship’s Biofouling
  • The BWM Convention (The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments (2004) (effective 8/9/17)
  • Case Study: The Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Plan

The potential scope of damage from invasive/exotic species

  • Local species becoming prey
  • Depletion of biodiversity
  • Impact on local habitat
  • Ecosystem damage
  • Economic damage -fuel and maintenance costs
  • Social impact-communities and way of life
  • Some examples of invasive marine pests and their impacts


  • The 3 critical choices – prevent, control, destroy
  • Some aspects of biofouling – damage/ cost/time for removal/repair
  • Some examples of biofouling – ballast water and sediments/hull fouling
  • Towing and translocation of structures (decommissioning impacts?)
  • Methodologies of establishment – spawning; detachment; fragmentation, or translocation of entire colony/community
  • Case study: Arctic E&P operations – a disaster waiting to happen?

Biosecurity Planning

  • Why biosecurity planning is important
  • Case Study: Blocking the Suez Canal – the ‘Ever Given’
  • Infrastructure/location assessment and consideration
  • Time limited planning (i.e.: marine construction projects)
  • Scoping possible vectors of contamination
  • Scoping possible sources of contamination
  • Understanding and planning for potential constraints
  •  Contingency planning
  • Creating a monitoring and control system for surveillance/compliance
  • Does a vessel or a structure comply with marine license/operational conditions?
  • Assessment of activities
  • Complexity and control challenges – the ‘Compulsory’ vs. ‘Voluntary’ problem
  • Infrastructure for handling/ transportation/ interim storage
  • On-site capability-inspection/resources/ physical response
  • Assessment of supply chain requirements/capabilities
  • Class exercise: creating a biosecurity plan

Surveying for invasive/exotic species:

  • Analysing ‘movement’ – point of origin to point of destination
  • Journey length
  • Number of port calls and transitions in cargo handling
  • Port congestion and delays
  • The ‘Proximity Factor’ – ships at anchor (layup events) – Planktonic and Nektonic ‘Bio-movement’
  • Assessing seasonality issues

Stakeholder engagement

  • The problem with Stakeholder agendas
  • Stakeholder power and influence – a shifting dynamic?
  • Stakeholder Identification and assessment – ‘stakeholder mapping’
  • Class exercise – stakeholder mapping
  • Establishing/re-establishing constructive engagement with stakeholder groupings
  • Strategies for minimising the potential for environmental damage
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s)
  • Class exercise: EIA’s

Biosecurity and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

  • Tangible and intangible factors of consideration – damage to reputation, fines for non-compliance other potential financial loss
  • Establishment of clear long- term goals and strategies
  • Optimisation of resources
  • Creating sustainability
  • Responsibility and Ethics


  • Origin of ‘Cyberbiosecurity’
  • Data security – the key issue?
  • The relevance of SMART information criteria
  • The value of information in decision making processes
  • Integrity management – prevention of theft or destruction/damage to intellectual property
  • The importance of Knowledge Management
  • The concept of ‘Shelf-life’ – how important is it to understand this?
  • The threat of being ‘behind the curve’ – technological obsolescence

Digitalisation and Cyberbiosecurity

  • Assessing the organisation’s capabilities – a due diligence process
  • Class exercise: Constructing scenario’s
  • ‘Digital disruption’- what does this mean for your existing supply chain?
  • Removing fragmentation from the SC
  • Streamlining and optimization strategies
  • Understanding feedback mechanisms – positive self-amplifying and negative regulatory ‘loops’
  • Dealing with emergent opportunities
  • Managing the digital interface -security (physical and cyber; organisational/ societal resilience; economic impact)

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Still have a question?

Devi Nyunt
Training Consultant
+65 6992 8760

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