Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Intl. agreement on ballast water constraints

18 February 2004 Media Statement

International agreement on ballast water constraints

Associate Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs has welcomed an international move to prevent the potentially devastating effects of exotic marine pests such as invasive species of mussels, crabs, jellyfish and toxic algae being spread from ships’ ballast water.

New Zealand is particularly susceptible to marine invasions and has actively pushed for international action to address the management of ballast water.

The convention, which has yet to be ratified and passed into New Zealand law, was adopted at an international conference hosted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations agency responsible for safety and security of shipping and the protection of the environment from shipping impacts. It has been under discussion for 12 years.

Ships will be required to 'cleanse' their ballast by exchanging it for mid-ocean water on the way to another country. This is a difficult operation and it is hoped that in about five years new treatments, such as filtration and UV treatment to kill the organisms, will have been developed to replace this method.

After 2009, most new ships will be required to meet the convention's discharge standard for treated ballast water. Existing ships will have about five additional years to comply with this standard, as it is more difficult to retrofit treatment systems.

The IMO Secretary-General, Efthimios Mitropoulos, told conference delegates that the introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens to new environments has been identified as one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans.

"Given the international nature of shipping, the only way to address the problem effectively is through the adoption and implementation of a global legally binding instrument," he said.

Marian Hobbs said New Zealand already requires visiting ships to exchange ballast water before discharging in New Zealand ports.

"The new convention will strengthen the ability of New Zealand government agencies to enforce this obligation and introduces a requirement for more effective treatments in the future," she added.

Shipping is the biggest pathway for spreading aquatic pest organisms from their native region, where they may be living in balance with the environment, to new regions where they may become highly invasive and harmful.

Transporting ballast water is essential to the safe operation of ships but it also poses a significant environmental threat. One ship may empty up to 100,000 tonnes of water from an overseas port when taking up cargo and this contains millions of organisms, often in their larval forms, some of which will survive in a new 'home'.

Some of these may become invasive, severely disrupting the native ecology and seriously impacting on the economy and human health of the region of their new 'home'. It is estimated that three to 10 billion tonnes of ballast water are transferred globally each year.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news