There has been a rising concern about the detrimental ecological and economic impacts of invasive species as transported in ships ballast as international marine trade has expanded. It is now estimated that approximately 10,000 species are transported globally in ballast water every day (NOAA Fisheries Service, 2007).
The Ballast Water Expert Group is working to educate and inform the maritime community with regards to pending international legislation regarding the 2004 IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and its implications for world shipping. The group aims to engage port states, flag administrations, ship-owners, ballast water treatment system manufacturers, classification societies, those involved in sampling, monitoring and compliance as well as other stakeholders.:
The Ballast Water Expert Group serves as a forum for disseminating objective information for regulators charged with administering and enforcing the BWM Convention when it enters into law, and to provide the Institute’s expertise and advice to Governments and National, Regional and International organizations seeking consultation on ballast water issues.:
The Special Interest Group will address priority engineering, science and technology concerns relating to invasive species and ballast water management.
The SIGs overarching aims are to:
To act as an agent, through the worldwide IMarEST network, and in collaboration with other entities, such as Globallast and the North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity Project, to educate shipping companies, treatment system suppliers and other stakeholders on standards, including changes in interpretation, technological advances and regional differences.
To act as a clearing house for up-to-date-date, relevant information and to make this information available to BWEG Members.
To further advance the expertise, and status of BWEG members working in the field, and to provide help and advice to expand their knowledge of this subject.
To run the annual Ballast Water Technology Conference and to run a number of other global events and workshops.
To produce at least one information per year on a ballast water-related topic.