Every year ships carry an estimated 5 to 10 billion tonnes of ballast water which provide the necessary draught and stability. With that ballast water alien invasive organisms are carried which, when ballast water is discharged, can harm the local flora and fauna. This poses a threat to the biodiversity of our oceans. IMO has therefore signed the Ballast Water Management Convention to control the problem.
Shipowners will need to install systems that treat the ballast water. Although the convention will enter into force soon, there is currently no certainty that the available systems, which are approved by IMO, will work under all circumstances. The US has therefore itself promulgated stringent inspection criteria, which however all current systems are however unable to meet.
There is an urgent need for reliable systems and a thoughtful measuring method.