Ballast Water Addressed by Gulf States

The Gulf area Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO) this week hosted a high level Conference in Dubai to highlight the problematic issue of invasive species in the region. INTERTANKO’s Tim Wilkins spoke on the foreseeable difficulties with the eventual implementation of the newly developed draft ballast water Convention.

The Gulf area Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO) this week hosted a high level Conference in Dubai to highlight the problematic issue of invasive species in the region. In co-ordination with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), RECSO drew in experts from around the world to discuss the next step in reducing the risk of invasion by the use of ballast water management. Entitled “Tanker Ballast Water Management and Technologies”, INTERTANKO’s Tim Wilkins spoke on the foreseeable difficulties with the eventual implementation of the newly developed draft Ballast Water Convention.

With 8,000 tanker visits per year, the Gulf region is considered a highly susceptible area for invasions through ballast water. Presentations by the IMO focused on the adoption of the international Convention on ballast water in the region. With the Convention due for adoption in January 2004 the IMO speakers stressed the importance in preparing for its implementation in the Gulf region.

Dr Al-Awadi of the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) explained the significance of this issue and the importance of it being understood in the region.. “One species can spread rapidly in such an enclosed sea area,” explained Dr Al-Awadi referring to the threat from invasive species. Colonel al-Busaidy from the Sultan of Oman believed that the issue could be handled in the same way as the problem of operational oil pollution had been handled. However, the stakeholders needed to fully understand the issue, which entailed explaining this ‘unseen problem’ to the politicians in the Gulf region.

Further presentations highlighted the problems and various ballast projects underway around the world. INTERTANKO explained the issue as seen from the tanker operator’s viewpoint and in particular the implementation of the Convention by industry. In addition to the already well known problems faced by tanker operators on the technical and operational levels, there would be a significant impact on the way vessels traded, from changes in charter parties to difficulties in loading when taking into account the forthcoming legislation.

A copy of Tim Wilkins presentation ‘Tanker Ballast Water Management and Technologies’’ is available on the web site: Click here for more information

Contact: Tim Wilkins, email: tim.wilkins@intertanko.com