Halting invasive species
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast and Sediments (BWM Convention) starts in 2017 to stop biodiversity loss caused by invasive species.
Spreading invasive species around the world are one of the main threats for biodiversity. One example for how species can spread around the planet is ballast water for ships which can contain thousands of aquatic microbes, alae and animals. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast and Sediments (BWM Convention)
is now going to start a process to reduce further biodiversity loss.
"This is a truly significant milestone for the health of our planet,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. "The spread of invasive species has been recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet. These 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. The ballast water problem
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 a 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.
The Ballast Water Management Convention will require all ships in international trade to manage their ballast water and sediments to certain standards, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate. The ballast water performance standard will be phased in over a period of time. Most ships will need to install an on-board system to treat ballast water and eliminate unwanted organisms. More than 60 type-approved systems are already available.
You can find more information on http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/22-BWM-.aspx
Tags: Fisheries | Invasive Alien Species
Other articles you might be interested in:
BirdLife Europe releases the mid - term assessment of the EU Biodiversity strategy
In a new publication, “Halfway there?”, today BirdLife Europe presents its assessment of progress in the first five years of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. The report finds that although important progress has been made in some areas, overall the EU is still failing to reverse the decline of biodiversity, many plants and animals are threatened with extinction in the EU.
UN issues guidelines to minimize risk of invasive species
The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted new guidance to tackle the introduction of invasive species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species. The guidance addresses a major pathway for introduction and spread, as a significant percentage of global invasive introductions results from pets, aquarium and terrarium species that escape from confined conditions.
LIFE and invasive alien species
The latest LIFE Nature Focus publication takes a timely look at one of the greatest threats to Europe's biodiversity, ecosystem services, human health and economic activities. The 76-page LIFE and invasive alien species brochure links the work of LIFE projects with the aims of the new EU Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulation.