Ballast Water Management – Why is it important?

Ballast Water Management – Why is it important?

Ballast Water Management – Why is it important? Officer of the Watch examines legislative efforts to avoid disastrous environmental risks posed by ballast water from international shipping The problem: Ships use ballast to control their stability. The ballast can be solid, and historically rocks or iron ingots might have been used, but nowadays the stability is provided by pumping water in and out of tanks on the ship. By filling or emptying different tanks, the stability of the ship can be adjusted and controlled. On the new generation of large ships, the amount of ballast water can be very considerable, amounting to many tens of thousands of tonnes.  Ballast tanks must be either full or empty to avoid water slopping about inside them.   Typically, a ship will pump in ballast water when leaving a port and pump it out again on arrival. This has led to some major environmental and public health disasters. For example, in 1991 a ship loaded in Bangladesh and discharged in...
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