The GloBallast Story: Tackling Marine Invasive Species

From shipping containers to small leisure boats, we have connected seas and coasts across the world with our maritime travels. But these vessels transport more than people, plants, animals, and goods. Marine species from one location are transported to another inside the ballast water of vessels. When that water is released, the organisms that have been living inside the ballast water are also released. If conditions are right, these alien species can become "invasive", disrupting the ecosystems they enter, and even threatening human livelihood. For invasive species, removal is virtually impossible. Prevention is better than cure - and that prevention needs to be on a global scale. GloBallast seeks to be part of that global solution.

GloBallast is a partnership program between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which seeks to improve how we manage ballast water. With the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention coming into force in September 2017, 30 signatory States (representing 35% of world shipping tonnage) have pledged to implement management actions and scientific research to reduce marine invasive species traveling by ships.

Read the GloBallast Story written by myself, Kevin Tester, and Maria Kouboura, and as told by those who have been - and continue to - work to reduce marine invasive species spreading further.

 Credit  Derell Licht/Flickr  (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Credit Derell Licht/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)