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Introduction

  • Matej DavidEmail author
  • Stephan Gollasch
Chapter
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 8)

Abstract

Today global shipping transports over 90 % of the world’s overseas trade and trends anticipate that it will continue to play an increasing role world-wide. Shipping operations inevitably include also pressures on natural environments. The most recent waterborne threat is the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens with ballast water and sediments releases, which may result in harmful effects on the natural environment, human health, property and resources globally. The significance of the ballast water issue was already addressed in 1973 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the United Nations specialised agency for the regulation of international maritime transport at the global scale. Committed work by many experts, scientists, politicians, IGOs and NGOs at IMO resulted in the adoption if the International Convention for the Control and Management of ShipsBallast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) in February 2004, which is now to be ratified and implemented. Work on ballast water management issues has also shown to be very complex, hence there are no simple solutions. Nevertheless, the BWM Convention represents a globally uniform framework for the implementation of ballast water management measures, and different supporting tools like risk assessment and decision support systems have been developed to support its efficiency. In this chapter the reader is introduced to various ballast water issues and responses to it. The intention of this book and the overview of its content is also presented.

Keywords

Vessels Ballast water Ballast water management Harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens International maritime organization Ballast water management convention Risk assessment Decision support system 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. Matej David ConsultKorte, IzolaSlovenia
  2. 2.Gollasch Consulting (GoConsult)HamburgGermany

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