Global Alliance formed to tackle ballast water threats

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A Global Industry Alliance (GIA) has been formulated through a union between the IMO, four major shipping corporations and United Nations agency bodies in a bid to address the threat of marine bio-invasions caused by the transfer of alien species in ships’ ballast tanks.

The IMO’s Ballast Water Convention has pushed for technological development into compulsory management of ships’ ballast water in preventing the spread of species through shipping, and has underlined the pressing importance in tackling such a global environmental threat through industry unification.

An estimated 10 billion tonnes of ballast water is carried around the globe each year, resulting in the daily transfer of over 3,000 species, and as newly-invaded ecosystems may not have the capacity to cope with the imported species, the serious environmental damage caused is consequentially costing the world billions of dollars.

While the IMO has developed a regulatory framework for ballast water management, the legislation has not yet been fully implemented; however, the Alliance hopes to foster a greater degree of research and development of treatment technologies onboard alongside training tools to promote a universal solution for the maritime industry.

Initiated by GloBallast Partnerships, the Alliance comprises a partnership between APL, BP Shipping, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Vela Marine International, and has encouraged other principal shipping corporations to sign the partnership to challenge the major environmental threats posed by ballast water systems.