Last month scientists from PML and its trading subsidiary PML Applications Ltd were in the Kingdom of Jordan to deliver national training on the sampling and analysis of ballast water.
Ballast water is carried by ships to help maintain stability and is discharged during the loading of cargo. However ballast water also has the potential to cause widespread human health, environmental and economic damage as a result of the introduction of the harmful and invasive species that naturally reside in it. Impending international regulation by the IMO (BWM Convention) will require the treatment of ballast water to reduce discharges of organisms below a set discharge standard. This will require policing by port state officials. Therefore it is essential that proper guidance and advice is given on the sampling and analysis of ballast water on ships.
The event was attended by a wide range of people from the marine industry in Jordan, including representatives from government, the maritime administration, academic institutes, Port State representatives, shipping organisations and companies which made for lively and interesting debate.
Thanks to the great collaboration between the harbour master and the ships, course participants were able to board a general cargo vessel and actually take samples of ballast water themselves from a ballast tank for later analysis. They were also shown how to use some of the equipment that is commercially available for indicative analysis and determination of risk levels.
The training was undertaken as part of the IMO’s GloBallast Project which aims to help developing countries to reduce the risk of ballast water mediated bioinvasions and prepare them for implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. As IMO consultants and experts in environmental aspects of ballast water treatment, scientists from PML and PML Applications Ltd were able to utilise their knowledge in this field for the benefit of participants.
It is anticipated that this training will be repeated in other countries in the future.