• 2017 September 8 13:28

    Global treaty to halt invasive aquatic species enters into force - IMO

    A key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water enters into force today (8 September 2017), IMO said in its press release.

    The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) requires ships to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.

    The BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for developing global standards for ship safety and security and for the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere from any harmful impacts of shipping.

    “This is a landmark step towards halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can cause havoc for local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

    “The requirements which enter into force today mean that we are now addressing what has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. Invasive species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the valuable natural riches of the earth upon which we depend. Invasive species also cause direct and indirect health effects and the damage to the environment is often irreversible,” he said.

    He added, “The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention will not only minimize the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, providing clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships.”

    Ballast water is routinely taken on by ships for stability and structural integrity. It can contain thousands of aquatic microbes, algae and animals, which are then carried across the world’s oceans and released into ecosystems where they are not native.

    Untreated ballast water released at a ship’s destination could potentially introduce new invasive aquatic species. Expanded ship trade and traffic volume over the last few decades has increased the likelihood of invasive species being released. Hundreds of invasions have already taken place, sometimes with devastating consequences for the local ecosystem, economy and infrastructure.

    The Ballast Water Management Convention requires all ships in international trade to manage their ballast water and sediments, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships must carry a ballast water record book and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate.

    All ships engaged in international trade are required to manage their ballast water so as to avoid the introduction of alien species into coastal areas, including exchanging their ballast water or treating it using an approved ballast water management system.

    Initially, there will be two different standards, corresponding to these two options.

    The D-1 standard requires ships to exchange their ballast water in open seas, away from coastal waters. Ideally, this means at least 200 nautical miles from land and in water at least 200 metres deep. By doing this, fewer organisms will survive and so ships will be less likely to introduce potentially harmful species when they release the ballast water.

    D-2 is a performance standard which specifies the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged, including specified indicator microbes harmful to human health.

    New ships must meet the D-2 standard from today while existing ships must initially meet the D-1 standard. An implementation timetable for the D-2 standard has been agreed, based on the date of the ship's International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPPC) renewal survey, which must be undertaken at least every five years.

    Eventually, all ships will have to conform to the D-2 standard. For most ships, this involves installing special equipment.

    IMO has been addressing the issue of invasive species in ships’ ballast water since the 1980s, when Member States experiencing particular problems brought their concerns to the attention of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). Guidelines to address the issue were adopted in 1991 and IMO then worked to develop the Ballast Water Management Convention, which was adopted in 2004.

    IMO has worked extensively with the development of guidelines for the uniform implementation of the Convention and to address concerns of various stakeholders, such as with regard to the availability of ballast water management systems and their type approval and testing.

    Shipboard ballast water management systems must be approved by national authorities, according to a process developed by IMO. Ballast water management systems have to be tested in a land-based facility and on board ships to prove that they meet the performance standard set out in the treaty. These could, for example, include systems which make use of filters and ultraviolet light or electrochlorination.

    Ballast water management systems which make use of active substances must undergo a strict approval procedure and be verified by IMO. There is a two-tier process, in order to ensure that the ballast water management system does not pose unreasonable risk to ship safety, human health and the aquatic environment.

    To date, more than 60 ballast water treatment systems have been given type approval.

    Since 2000, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project assisted developing countries to reduce the risk of aquatic bio-invasions through building the necessary capacity to implement the Convention. More than 70 countries directly benefitted from the Project, which received a number of international awards for its work. The GloBallast programme also engaged with the private sector through the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) and GIA Fund, established with partners from major maritime companies.

    The North American comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) has travelled in ships' ballast water from the eastern seaboard of the Americas e.g. to the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas. It depletes zooplankton stocks; altering food web and ecosystem function. The species has contributed significantly to the collapse of Azov Sea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea fisheries in the 1990s and 2000s, with massive economic and social impact.

    The Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has been transported from the Black Sea to western and northern Europe, including Ireland and the Baltic Sea, and the eastern half of North America. Travelling in larval form in ballast water, on release it has rapid reproductive growth with no natural predators in North America. The mussel multiplies and fouls all available hard surfaces in mass numbers. Displacing native aquatic life, this species alters habitat, ecosystem and the food web and causes severe fouling problems on infrastructure and vessels. There have been high economic costs involved in unblocking water intake pipes, sluices and irrigation ditches.

    The North Pacific seastar (Asterias amurensis) has been transported in ballast water from the northern Pacific to southern Australia. It reproduces in large numbers, reaching ‘plague’ proportions rapidly in invaded environments. This invasive species has caused significant economic loss as it feeds on shellfish, including commercially valuable scallop, oyster and clam species.

    The BWM convention to date has 63 Contracting Parties, representing 68.51% of world merchant shipping tonnage.
     
    IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.




2017 September 19

18:06 Samskip expands shortsea services in Scotland
17:48 Arctic Economic Council welcomes three new members
17:25 IMO is attending 34th session of ASEAN to update the Maritime Transport Working Group on its latest activities
17:06 Turkish shipyard Cemre Marin Endüstri A.S orders 4 x MAN 8L21/31 variable speed GenSets
16:39 Marine Engineering Bureau: half of Russia’s towing fleet is renovated, bunkering fleet situation is worse
16:14 MSC announces a new service between South America’s east coast and the Mediterranean
16:04 Port of Southampton completes construction of sixth multi-story car park
15:52 Turkish landing ship Bayraktar arrived in Novorosiysk
15:27 USPA announces tender for procurement of dredging vessel
15:04 GY Marinas and P&O Marinas launch superyacht complex in Sète, France
14:39 Commissioning works commenced at KN‘s LNG reloading station
14:14 Port of Gdansk, Port of Gdynia and Baltic Gateway attended Seatrade Europe in Hamburg
14:03 Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum bridge systems selected for two new mega yachts
13:50 IMO issues Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management
13:28 IMO says search and rescue is an international responsibility
13:01 Ningbo Zhoushan Port volumes up 72% to 254,000 TEUs
12:43 NEVA 2017, 14th International Maritime Exhibition and Conference of Russia, opens in Saint-Petersburg (photo)
12:22 Fuel oil prices are still high at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:04 Jan De Nul wins IADC Safety Award 2017
11:40 Secretary-General of IMO believes in a great future of Vostochny Port (photo)
11:04 CMA CGM signs strategic partnership with Infosys to accelerate the transformation of its Information System
10:45 Central Design Bureau Iceberg developed basic design of new 40-MW icebreaker
10:37 GTT receives an order from Hyundai Heavy Industries to design the LNG tanks of a new FSRU
10:23 Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response conference held in London on 13-14 September
10:01 IMarEST workshop on practical biofouling management strategies held in Melbourne, Australia
09:42 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $55.52, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.12% to $50.41
09:19 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,385 points

2017 September 18

18:37 Konecranes launches Crane Advisor customer support tool globally
18:07 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Maera
18:06 Rosmorport is looking into construction of LNG bunkering tanker of 3,000 to 5,000 cbm in capacity
17:50 Rosmorport is going to build ships running alternative fuels
17:45 Italian terminal operator Spinelli purchases another Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane
17:33 DP World to acquire Dubai Maritime City and Drydocks World
17:25 IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim visited sailings ship Nadezhda in Vladivostok (photo)
17:04 Chinese warships arrived at Vladivostok
16:47 Rosmorport to start construction of shallow-draft icebreaker before the year end
16:16 Vladimir Putin endorsed a list of instructions following the meeting on development of transport infrastructure in Northwest Russia
15:20 The Azerbaijan Government announces extension of ACG PSA to 2049 with co-venturers
15:06 Craneship launches icebreaking tugboat of Project Т40105, Yuribey, built for Atomflot (photo)
14:49 Wärtsilä launches new eco-friendly tug designs
14:23 ZIM marks the 3 millionth container at DaChan Bay Terminals
14:23 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO up to RUB 12,481 in RF spot market
13:55 Kitack Lim says Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific region is a deliberate focus of the Tokyo MoU
12:42 Sovcomflot awarded by Russian Ministry of Energy for achievements in R&D and innovations
12:20 6 races held as part of Russian Yachting Championship for SB20 class (photo)
12:01 EU countries authorized their vessels to fish unlawfully in African waters - Oceana
11:39 SCF supports development of professional maritime education in Russia’s Far East
11:17 Russia seeks closer cooperation with IMO, Vitaly Klyuyev says
11:00 Hapag-Lloyd orders 7,700 new reefer containers
10:40 Brent Crude futures price up 0.14% to $55.70, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.10% to $50.49
10:21 IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is on a formal visit in Russia
10:09 South Korean terminal operator PDCT puts Konecranes Gottwald Model 4 Mobile Harbor Crane into operation
09:31 DP World not to renew operating contract in Indonesia
09:18 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,385 points

2017 September 17

17:25 India signs $76mln loan deal with Japan International Cooperation Limited to upgrade Alang-Sosiya shipyards
17:23 CMA CGM outperforms the market with very strong operating and financial results in Q2 2017
17:21 IMO issues new warning on hazards of carrying bauxite by ship
17:19 DFDS increases its volumes on the North Sea freight routes to and from the UK
17:16 General Dynamics NASSCO named ‘Greenest Shipyard of the Year’

2017 September 15

18:06 Kiel Port Prize goes to Jörn Grage of SCA Logistics