ICES-IOC-IMO Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors

ICES/IOC/IMO Working Group on Ballast of Ships and other Ship Vectors (WGBOSV):

Ballast water carried by ships from port to port is an unwitting vehicle for invading exotic species of marine life. Ships take in a certain amount of water for stabilisation before a voyage which is discharged at its destination. This so-called ballast water is full of stones, sediment and therefore is home to thousands of marine organisms. It is estimated that over 3,000 species travel around the world on a daily basis in this way.

Invasion of exotic or non-indigenous species can wreak havoc with an ecosystem and cause imbalances that sometimes cannot be reversed, possibly even causing extinctions. To help control the situation, the International Maritime Organisation drew up directives and recommendations for treatment methods and controlling discharge limits for numbers of microbes.

The WGBOSV review and analyse ballast water treatment techologies and provide advice to the IMO process of developing guidelines to implement the IMO Ballast Water Convention.  

THE WORKING GROUP IS OPEN TO SCIENTISTS FROM ALL IOC MEMBER STATES. PLEASE CONTACT THE CHAIR OF THE WG, Dr. Tracy McCollin, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. IF YOU  ARE INTERESTED.

The WGBOSV will meet in Lisbon, Portugal from 12–14 March 2012, with a back to back meeting with the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms [WGITMO].

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