The North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity Project (NSBWO) supports regional cohesion, innovation and future strategies in ballast water policies, management and addressing aquatic invasive species. The project focuses on coherence and harmonization of implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention on, including addressing such issues as monitoring and enforcement, innovation in scientific and technological solutions, and strategies to reduce ship-borne invasions.
The project is co-funded by the INTERREG IVB North Sea Region Programme of the European Regional Development Fund and is coordinated by the Royal Netherlands Institute for the North Sea (NOIZ), and the World Maritime University is a partner contributing to the development of strategies for collection of data, monitoring and modelling, and creation of an aquatic invasive species website and database, and technical opportunities of ballast water treatment and management for the North Sea.
Royal Netherlands Institute for the North Sea (NOIZ)
World Maritime University
January, 2008 to July, 2014
The Ballast Water Management Convention was established as a response to the global issue of the spread of invasive species. The entry into force of the Convention is supposedly imminent, but many issues remain to be solved to ensure its success in preventing the spread of invasive species. Considering the implications involved, it is of great importance for the success of the Convention that sampling procedures to determine compliance are robust and reliable. Further, sampling results must gain acceptance as scientific evidence and basis for enforcement actions. The IMO has produced guidelines and recommendations that are to be evaluated during a trial period and a uniform protocol for sampling procedures and protocols has yet to be established. Ballast water samples fall in the category of scientific evidence, a well-researched topic, and as such, many lessons learned can be applied in the case of ballast water. The use of ballast water samples as evidence shows many similarities to the use of DNA profiling. DNA profiling was initially highly controversial and much criticized, but has gained general acceptance as evidence in today’s courts. Important features behind the success of DNA evidence were firm quantitative estimates of risk for errors close to zero, formal recommendations on how probability calculations should be conducted from official bodies, the establishment of quality control standards to minimize laboratory errors, and administrative protocols. These features resulted in favourable judicial decisions that has materialized general legal acceptance. Although the guidelines produced by the IMO have made significant progress, for ballast water to be used as evidentiary basis for e.g. criminal sanctions they need to be a lot more robust. Formal statistical calculations for representativeness is likely to one of the most important features to have in place, as well as protocols for the obtaining and handling of samples. It is further suggested that preparations are made for the use of expert testimonies by courts in ballast water cases.
This deliverable is a compilation of summaries of four scientific papers that cover different aspects of risks connected to marine bioinvasions in the North Sea Region. One of the papers looks deeper into global shipping and adds several factors to shipping density to describe hotspots for potential invasions and invasion routes. Two of the papers dig into concerns of regional perspective (the Wadden Sea), one developing a model of a specific kind of water body’s vulnerability to non-native, the other dealing with questions related to when a species should be stated as a non-native and when it has become part of the native “natural” ecosystem. Finally, one paper is on risk assessment for exemptions of ballast water treatment (also see David, M. and Gollasch, S, 2010, for risk assessment focussing on intra North Sea shipping). All these articles contribute to the understanding of how the risks of bioinvasions must be tackled on a larger geographic scale. Other important risk reduction measures are modelling approaches considering biology and geology of the oceans and monitoring approaches, for example the building of databases on marine invasive species. Here, knowledge about the biology and ecology of the species is important, as well as the abiotic and biotic circumstances of the area of origin, as such information may for example be used to assess whether or not water bodies comply with the ecological demands of the non-natives or to predict scenarios in various kinds of models (e.g. Leewis and Gittenberger, 2011).
Anne Bouyssou and Josefin Madjidian
Ships carry seawater in their ballast tanks when they are not fully loaded with cargo, in order to maintain adequate trim, draught and stability, adjust list and limit stresses on the hull. It is now well documented that the water pumped into the ship contains aquatic organisms – which can also sink to the sediments at the bottom of tanks – and that these organisms are thereby transferred from the port of origin to the destination. But it is seldom mentioned that aquatic organisms are also found on the outside of ships, attached on their hulls and appendages, as a result of a very dynamic process called ‘biofouling’.
A Prototype Decision Support Tool for Ballast Water Risk Management using a Combination of Hydrodynamic Models and Agent-Based Modelling
Fleming T. Hansen, Jesper H. Andersen, Michael Potthof, Thomas Uhrenholdt, Hong D. Vo, and Olof Lindén
We report the development of a prototype Decision Support Tool (DST) for modelling the risks of spreading of non-indegenous invasive species via ballast water. The DST constitutes of two types of models: A 3D hydrodynamical model calculates the currents in the North Sea and Danish Straits, and an agent-based model estimates the dispersal of selected model organisms with the prevailing currents calculated by the 3D hydrodynamical model. The analysis is concluded by a post processing activity, where scenarios of dispersal are combined into an interim estimate of connectivity within the study area. The latter can be used as a tool for assessment of potential risk associated with intentional or unintentional discharges of ballast water. We discuss how this prototype DST can be used for ballast water risk management and outline other functions and uses, e.g. in regard to ecosystem-based management and the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.