Developing Effective Ballast Water Controls
Ships' ballast water contains billions of organisms that range from microscopic viruses and bacteria to planktonic forms of invertebrates and fish. When a ship enters Washington and empties its ballast tanks, these organisms are released into the local environment. Any non-indigenous species in this water can be introduced and become established, possibly causing considerable damage to aquatic environments.
Developing ballast water treatment technologies requires experimentation and testing on a range of scales, from the laboratory bench to actual shipboard prototype installation.
Washington Sea Grant has been an active proponent of such activities, working in conjunction with the University of Washington’s Ballast Water Research Team.
- Foreign Cargo: Sea Grant’s ballast water specialists confronts a world of aquatic nuisance species (Sea Star article)
- Captain Copepod ‘s coloring book (Sea Star article; 380KB PDF*)
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