Amendments to an international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of potentially invasive species in ships' ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (the BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to address this problem. The BWM Convention entered into force in 2017. The amendments formalise an implementation schedule to ensure ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard ("D-2 standard") aimed at ensuring that viable organisms are not released into new sea areas, and make mandatory the Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems, which sets out how ballast water management systems used to achieve the D-2 standard have to be assessed and approved. This will help ensure that aquatic organisms and pathogens are removed or rendered harmless before the ballast water is released into a new location – and avoid the spread of invasive species as well as potentially harmful pathogens.
Invasive Species Resources
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International Maritime Organization.
National Sea Grant Law Center.
United States Department of Agriculture; DHS. Customs and Border Protection; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Don't Pack a Pest's goal is to educate travelers about the risks associated with carrying certain types of food, plants, or other agricultural items in passenger baggage and encouraging travelers to declare agricultural items and Don’t Pack a Pest. This inter-governmental program is working to safeguard food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond.
Local Government Aquatic Invasive Species Toolkit.
Toolkit to assist local governments with navigating the regulatory framework associated with high-risk priority aquatic invasive species.
Note: Financial support was provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior, under award # F20AP00238.
New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Biosecurity New Zealand; National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
New Zealand is the first country to implement nationwide regulations to manage risks associated with biofouling on international vessels. The development of this regulation and its implementation can serve as a blue-print for other jurisdictions that are interested in preventing the spread on non-indigenous marine species.