The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held a three day Regional Workshop on the 2011 Guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species, (Biofouling Guidelines). Two international experts, Mr. Markus Helavuori, Technical Officer from the Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Dr. Patrick Lewis, International consultant from Australia, provided the lecture material and gave the presentations at this Workshop. The workshop was held in the premises of the Emergency Mutual Aid in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (EMARSGA) in Hurghada-Egypt during the period Monday the 14th of September 2015 until Wednesday the 16th of June September 2015. The training workshop was dedicated to promoting the implementation of the international Conventions related to bio-fouling organisms aiming to protect the unique biodiversity of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden from Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) associated with fouling organism. The workshop included a site visit to a leisure boats dry Dock, where a detailed presentation was given by Dr. Captain Mamdouh Meligy, EMARSGA Director. .Dr. Meligy explained the activities of the dry dock and the importance of getting rid of bio-fouling organisms to the protection of the fragile and unique environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. In addition the consultants showed the participants the hidden parts within the structure of the boat that are considered important niches for the growth of bio-fouling organisms.
The workshop was intended for those governments from the Ministries of Environment, Flag and Port State Officers and Scientists.
Training places were awarded to a maximum of three participants from each PERSGA member state: Djibouti, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan. Unfortunately participants from Yemen were not able to attend the workshop. As the host country, Egypt was represented by 9 persons making the total number of participants reaching 19 participants. The delivery of the regional training workshop was highly successful, and generally met the overall objectives. The invited participants were active and involved with the course and the site visit, and benefited greatly from their participation over the workshop of three days. Some of the participants have asked to hold similar workshops at the national level and asked for additional workshops dedicated to the identification of bio-fouling organism. PERSGA and IMO are to endeavor to accommodate requests for further technical cooperation activities in the region, taking into consideration the available budgets and plans of both organizations.