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Transfer of organisms through ships’ ballast water: impact analysis and eradication methods

Kotzia Amalia

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Year 2018
Type of Item Diploma Work
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The purpose of the thesis is to analyze the problem of organism transference during the process of ballasting and deballasting a ship. The transference of alien organisms through the water-ballast significantly affects both the natural environment and the economy. The establishment of international maritime regulations, which apply universally, is an additional means in protecting the marine environment. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) plays a pivotal role in attempts to tackle the problem, by drafting the 13th February 2013 Convention for the control and management of ballast water and sediments of the ships. An equally central role is nonetheless also held by each individual country through its own services, like the United States Coast Guard (USCG), which help ensure the observance of the international regulations. The recognition of the need for ballast treatment methods has led to the development of a wide range of ballast treatment systems, which must, however, be issued a type-approval certificate. The transference of alien organisms has serious environmental implications, as different ecosystems are mixed. It also has a significant impact on human health, because of the diseases that these organisms carry and transfer. Last but not least, we should not neglect the financial consequences that derive from the effort to achieve a general compliance to the ballast management regulations.

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