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Ships' Ballast Water Spreads Marine Creatures

As international trade continues so does "equalization" of the planet. Many marine species are now found in all waters of the world. This is because transport ships literally hoover up animals in ballast water, which is released at any time, any place, when it is no longer needed.
Ship releasing ballast into a port
All ballast water is released into a port when cargo is taken onboard. Marine survivors of this rough treatment give the local environment a go. Some are successful and multiply to epidemic proportions. Zebra mussels and Pacific seastars in particular are a major problem.

An Australian study gathered data such as ports where ballast was likely to be taken on and where it would probably be released. Marine species spread this way were identified and it was predicted how long they would survive. This data was fed into a computer.

It was noticed that shipping volume was increasing mainly in the transport of primary products. Most of this Australian export was delivered to Asia and Southeast Asia. This meant that marine species from this region were unloaded into Australian waters.

New laws were introduced in 2001 to ban the emptying of Asian ballast water into Australian seas. The new rules have been totally ignored. Furthermore, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC) directed ballast water be unloaded into holding tanks. Shipping is not complying.
Environment by Ty Buchanan
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