The purpose of the Concerted Action is to involve European scientists working on ballast water problems in a joint effort to develop reliable and intercalibrated methodologies for monitoring (intercontinentally and regionally) the continuous and changing rate of transmission of harmful alien species via ships' traffic, thereby providing a tool for risk assessment and environmental management.
The intensity of shipping and the structure of the fleet have undergone major changes over the past decade, possibly leading to increased opportunity for survival of exotic species. Risk assessment must consider criteria for quantifying survival probabilities to define appropriate management strategies to minimize risk of introductions. The major problem in transmission of harmful exotics resides with the continued transfer of ballast water in m0dern shipping, in particular bulk carriers and container ships of different design and dimension.The overall objective of the Concerted Action will include the following aspects: - evalution of the various sampling methods presently used for ballast water studies in selected EU member countries - validation of the reliability of sampling methodologies (through intercalibration workshops, also onboard ocean-going ships) to assess in-transit survival capabilities - development of intercalibrated monitoring systems for use by EU countries and by intergovernmental bodies such as ICES, BMB (Baltic Marine Biologists), IOC and IMO.
Additionally, the Concerted Action will consider case histories (e.i. inventories of various types of transmissions) and their major pathways in order to assist in understanding the requirements for the development of adequate mitigation (treatment) techniques.
Experts from EU countries will be brought together through a series of workshops held at sites of relevance to the subject. Various methods will be studied how qualitatively and quantitatively the fate of exotic species in ballast water may be examined. The CA will focus on:
- Studying and comparing case histories
- Develop a Standard Sampling Methodology for collecting and analysing ballastwater from ships for Monitoring purposes
- Develop a Methodology to study in-transit survival of organisms. - Assessing control measures to reduce risks arising from ballast waterreleases
- Developing a joint research programme on methods of distributionalmapping
- Create Public awareness on ballast water issues
- Consider European waters as donor area.
- Document European studies on introduced species in the past.
Deliverables to be produced will - among other documents - include: - A working manual will be produced to cover species accounts - A special report on the results of the intercalibration andstandardization exercises, providing data for each method on therecovery efficiency of species from various types of ballasts tank andrecommending procedures for sampling and monitoring.
- A concensus report on suggested and/or recommended interim guidelines fortreatment. Gaps in R&D will be identified to set research priorities in thisarea
- Documentation of Eur. studies on ballast water monitoring and control issuesin particular on grey literature: e.g. govemmental reports, internal reportsfrom harbour authorities, interim project reports, etc) into the database tokept by the co-ordintor.
The Concerted Action will last for 2 years with 10 participating partners and numerous additional international experts participating and/or contributing to the activities.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts