BALLAST WATER SAMPLING INFORMATION SHARED INTERNATIONALLY
24 March 2003
Two experts from New Zealand will work with other international experts to develop an international protocol for ballast water sampling at the First International Workshop on Guidelines and Standards for Ballast Water Sampling to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next month.
Ballast water sampling techniques developed in New Zealand and Australia are acknowledged as world leading, and both the New Zealand experts will address the Conference.
They are Ministry of Fisheries Chief Technical Officer, Dr Chad Hewitt, who was closely involved in developing Australia ballast monitoring protocols before moving to New Zealand early this year, and Tim Dodgshun, of the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, who will speak on practical aspects of ballast water sampling in New Zealand.
The introduction of harmful aquatic organisms to new environments through ships' ballast water has been identified as one of the four greatest threats to the world's oceans. Countries are working together through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where New Zealand (the Ministry of Fisheries) is involved in developing a Ballast Water Convention, with possible finalisation in 2004.
Around the world, work is progressing on matters associated with ballast water management such as monitoring ports for arrival of new organisms and sampling ballast tanks on ships, with technical assistance being developed through the Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast), which is being piloted in six countries, China, Iran, India, Ukraine, South Africa and Brazil.
The Workshop will review the various ballast water sampling guidelines and standards and adapt them into draft international guidelines and standards, for use by the GloBallast Pilot Countries and consideration by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee for inclusion in the Ballast Water Convention.
Practical training will be given to representatives of the GloBallast Pilot Countries in standardised ballast water sampling methods, to allow them to purchase the necessary equipment, and develop and implement programmes on return to their home countries.
For further information on the Conference, go to: http://globallast.imo.org
For further information please contact
Mark Edwards, Ministry of Fisheries
04 470 2600