Aquatic invasive species
OBJECTIVE: Reduce the risk of introducing and propagating aquatic invasive organisms and pathogens associated with ballast water discharges and biofouling.
Ballast water is crucial for ensuring ship stability for cargo and other vessel types, but the discharge of ballast water also risks introducing and spreading invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, aquatic life and microorganisms that, when introduced outside of their natural environment, out-compete native species and can disrupt the existing balance of that ecosystem. To further prevent the possible spread of invasive species, Green Marine Europe encourages ship owners to adopt recognized best practices for ballast water management and participate in research and development into new treatment systems. Green Marine Europe recognizes at Level 5 the proactive ship owners who install and use treatment systems aboard their vessels where and when beyond regulation.
Biofouling is another vector of aquatic invasive species. Ship biofouling refers to species or organisms attached to underwater or wetted surfaces of a ship, i.e. the vessel’s hull and submerged equipment and apparatus. Green Marine Europe encourages ship owners to complete a range of anti-fouling measures that include applying special coatings to ship hulls and regularly cleaning underwater surfaces.