To prevent pollution of the sea, The International Maritime Organization, IMO, adopted a Convention in 2001, banning the use of TBT in anti-fouling paint from 1st January 2003. In 2002 Australia became one of the first countries to sign the Convention. The Convention also bans the presence of TBT in anti-fouling paint on a ship's hull.
The TBT antifouling paints have been replaced by silicon based systems, which make the surface of the ship’s hull slippery so that marine life will not be able to attach itself. Also copper based coatings are now being used.
IMO is now considering a number of measures to manage biofouling of ships. One of these measures is the development of the Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species. These guidelines will be finalised in 2011.