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Region moves to regulate ship’s ballast water

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2022. 2:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Ports Commissioner, Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swaso and Marine and Technical Manager, Darlin Gaitan of the Belize Port Authority (BPA) are in Cartagena, Colombia, for a regional conference on the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ballast Water and Sediment, 2004 (BWM).

Untreated Ballast Water, for example from cruise ships, poses a threat to the wider Caribbean region as the discharge of untreated ballast water can introduce invasive aquatic species to marine ecosystems and disrupt ecological processes including commercially viable fish stocks. Additionally, untreated ballast can propagate pathogens that can negatively affect human and marine life. The scientific community has long recognized the negative impacts of the introduction of biological threats such as invasive aquatic species and other pathogens that can be transported in untreated ballast water and therefore the accession, ratification, and implementation of Ballast Water Management Convention are of high priority to states.

In Cartagena from 18th- 20th October 2022, attendees will be encouraged to pursue the accession and ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention. Additionally, it will provide a status and update of the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) to minimize the transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens from Ship’s Ballast Water into the ocean. The workshop will include topics on the implementation, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, data sharing and the promotion of sound science and technologies. The Workshop is organized and sponsored by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), RAC/REMPEITC and the Maritime Authority of Colombia.

Belize through its National Maritime Technical Committee (NMTC) including the Belize Port Authority will promote the accession of the Ballast Water Management Convention, and the implementation of the Regional Strategic Action Plan.


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