During the 2020 GREEN4SEA Athens Forum, Dr. Efi Tsolaki, Chief Scientific Officer, ERMA FIRST S.A. highlighted that invasive aquatic species are a major threat to the marine ecosystems, and shipping has been identified as a vital pathway for introducing species to new environments.
The Suez canal, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, has created a direct shipping route between the East and the West. However, over the years, the invasive species have increased the risk of extinction for native marine life, while they have also changed the Mediterranean ecosystem with potentially devastating consequences, according to scientists.
The untreated ballast water has a negative impact on the marine species and marine environment, often resulting to the increase of the non-native organisms, disrupting the food chain, interfering with infrastructure by incapacitating power plants, disrupting water supply, and spreading deadly diseases.
Amendments to an international treaty aiming to prevent the spread of potentially invasive species in ships’ ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The amendments set out an implementation schedule to make sure that ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard (D-2 standard).
A team of scientists from the University of Southampton, Bangor University and the National Oceanography Centre have found out that several artificially introduced species in the coastal waters of southern England, using a genetic technique that could detect early non-native species if adopted more widely.
In April 2019 the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in the UK launched a new research to understand the impact and threat to biosecurity from invasive species where the UK is witnessing a rise in the introduction of non-native species, with damaging effects from invasive species estimated to cost almost £1.8 billion a year.
Rising global maritime traffic could lead to sharp increases in invasive species around the world over the next 30 years, according to a recent study by McGill University researchers. The findings suggest that shipping growth will far outweigh climate change in the spread of non-indigenous pests.
During his presentation at the last GREEN4SEA Conference, Mr. David Nichol, Senior Loss Prevention Executive, UK P&I Club, provided a brief overview of old and new challenges surrounding biofouling and what is in store for the future.
California recently shared its experience from the first year of enforcing Biofouling Management Regulations, that apply to vessels arriving at California ports from 1 October 2017. The California State Lands Commission emphasised that the International AFS Certificate issued by a vessel’s flag state is not enough to document effectiveness of a vessel’s antifouling coating.
In an interview with GREEN4SEA, Paul Hallett, manager of the Biosecurity and Environment Group at MPI New Zealand, highlighted current challenges of biofouling, emphasizing on Craft Risk Management Standard for Biofouling, the world’s first such standard at a national scale, entering into force in May 2018.
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