Ballast water reporting system at major ports

PTI, PANAJI | 12 June 2011 20:59 IST

Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has decided to implement ballast water reporting system at major ports in India following media reports about threat arising from transfer of such water from one ocean to another during earthquakes.

"NIO has plans to implement electronic ballast water reporting at the major ports in India to facilitate ballast water risk assessment," said Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Ashwani Kumar.

Talking to reporters, Kumar said that the possibility about the threat arising from transfer of ballast water from one ocean to another surfaced in the media recently when the earthquake in Japan led to leakage of radioactive material from nuclear power plants into nearby marine waters.

The minister said that the marine bio invasion through shipping activities is a major concern for the health of the ocean and functioning of marine ecosystems.

"This issue has drawn the attention of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and convention on ballast water management has been adopted," he added.

Ships fill their ballast tanks with water to maintain stability during transit. Large ships often carry millions of gallons of ballast water taken from coastal port areas which gets transported with the ship to the next port of call where the water may be discharged or exchanged.

In recent past, Goa State Pollution Control Board had stopped two ships which had arrived from Japan, from entering into the port.

They were allowed to enter only after they received certificates claiming that the ballast water was not having radioactive substances.

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