Ballast Water Initiative Moving to Georgia This Year

The joint initiative by the International Maritime Organization and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was created two years ago, after severe damage was done to Black Sea fisheries.

Training masters and owners of ships and port operators about the potentially devastating impact of invasive species carried abroad in ballast water has been going on in Europe for two years thanks to a joint initiative by the International Maritime Organization and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It began after comb jellyfish, a species native to North America’s Atlantic coast, caused severe damage to Black Sea fisheries, according to a March 13 report by EBRD's Volker Ahlemeyer.

The Marine Biosafety Initiative’s first phase involved workshops in Russia and Ukraine, and by now 36 countries, including Denmark most recently, have ratified an IMO convention that will come into force when countries representing 35 percent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping have signed it, Ahlemeyer reported.

Workshops took place in Turkey last year, and one is being offered in Georgia this year, he reported.

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