A Global Industry Alliance, made up of an innovative partnership between IMO, the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and four major private shipping corporations, aims to harness the different skills and expertise brought by these groups in order to develop concrete solutions to the threat of marine bio-invasions.
Marine bio-invasions are caused by the transfer of alien plants and animals in ships’ ballast tanks. Ballast water is carried in cargo ships to provide needed stability.
The Alliance will contribute to research and development of cost effective ballast water treatment technologies that can be fitted onboard ships. In addition, it will assist with exploring new ship design options such as ‘flow thru’ ballast tanks and ‘ballast-free ships’.
To date, four major shipping companies have joined the alliance – APL, BP Shipping, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and Vela Marine International. More shipping corporations have expressed their interest to join.