2nd GloFouling Partnerships R&D Forum and Exhibition on Biofouling Prevention and Management for Maritime Industries

  • 11 October 2022
  • 14 October 2022
  • IMO Headquarters
    4 Albert Embankment
    London SE1 7SR
  • Dr. Bev Mackenzie
  • bm@bimco.org

BIMCO's Head of Intergovernmental Engagement, Dr Bev Mackenzie, will be speaking about "The challenges of assessing biofouling coverage: Can AI play a role in supporting both industry initiatives and capacity development?"

The session is from 15:30-16:30 BST (UTC+1).

A BIMCO survey carried out in 2021 showed that there is good quality in-water cleaning with capture in ports but a decline in ports with offering in-water cleaning services. This is alongside the need for good quality inspections to be carried out to ensure an accurate assessment of coverage of biofouling. Access to technologies to facilitate and trained inspectors can present significant problems in several areas of the globe. 

BIMCO have worked with the industry to develop an “Industry standard on in-water cleaning with capture” which helps to ensure that the in-water cleaning of a ship can be carried out safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sustainable way. One requirement of an approval of a cleaning company is that a semi-quantitative assessment of cleaning efficacy is made to determine the amount of biofouling removed. This is done using images and/or videos of selected areas before and after cleaning – assessed for percentage coverage and basic type of macrofouling.

As part of the industry standard process BIMCO have been investigating whether the following can be developed:

  • A method that can automate the classification of images and that is reliable and accurate.
  • A method which can estimate a minimum criterion that is achievable through in-water cleaning and provide confidence in the approval process. 

This presentation will highlight the journey taken to look at the feasibility for the use of AI for in-water cleaning approval but also for capacity building for inspections, learnings, challenges and discuss next steps.