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Saturday, February 17, 2007

RH: Idea to prevent Bio-invasion from ships Ballast Water

From: Robert Ho (ho3@pacific.net.sg)
Subject: RH: Idea to prevent bio-invasion from ships ballast water

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Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-02-10 06:07:51 PST

RH: One [im?]possible idea to limit bio-invasions from ballast tank
waters is to filter the water such that only salt water is left,
without any micro-organisms. But this is too difficult and expensive.
Probably wouldn't work.

other words, the pumps [which are already there and hence, no need for expensive installations, will be in 2 sets, one pumping in water and the other pumping out water, every 10-50 kilometres or so. In other words, as the ship is moving, the pumps are regularly used to pump OUT the ballast tanks while simultaneously pumping IN water to replace the tanks being pumped out.

This means that the total weight of water remains the same but no
TAKEN IN. Thus, at the worst, the micro organisms are only moved no
more than 50 km away from where they were pumped in. Thus, local
ecologies are preserved and yet the ships can have their ballasts.

This idea could work if it can be ensured that with all this pumping
in and out, firstly, almost all the water is ROTATED, resulting in a
complete flush out, yet the weight of water to ballast the ship is
maintained. Secondly, the distance of moving the micro organisms is
kept to a reasonable distance. I have suggested 10-50 km but I am no
expert. Let some expert study this and make his/her recommendations.
Third, the pumping in and out of water tanks should not endanger the
ship's stability, of course. This is easily done since the ship has
many individual ballast tanks, I presume, so some may be evacuated
while others filled, yet the ship is still maintained at full
stability, probably by computers which maintain the overall stability.


RH: If this Continuous Discharge or Short Distance Discharge idea is
found to be cheap, simple and feasible, then there are just a few
administrative steps to complete it.

1. Since the destination port is the victim of such bio-invasions,
the destination port will be best to insist on the Continuous
Discharge or Short Distance Discharge scheme.

2. Captains of all ships with such propensity must keep a Eco Log
which logs the number of discharges and positions where such
discharges is done. Once the ship reaches a port, the Captain must fax or radio or email over an Eco Declaration, which must include the Eco Log. The Declaration simply states the Eco Log activities and any
Exceptions Report and will have the force of a Signed Declaration with legal force.

3. Thus, this Eco Declaration is a legal document and false
declarations can be punished exactly like a false declaration in
court. Most jurisdictions will be able to implement this without
having to pass new laws. Most existing laws on making signed and
official declarations will suffice.

4. Punishment for false declarations can visit not only the captain
but also the shipowner. Thus, this Eco Declaration can be easily
implemented and enforced by fines or even jail of the captain and the
shipowner. The shipowner must spend the small money to implement this
Continuous Discharge or Short Distance Discharge schemes. And to
insist on their compliance. The captain of the ship must therefore
implement the scheme and hand over the signed declaration at every
destination port.

5. Thus, it is all easily administered and implemented with little
cost or inconvenience to the business of shipping.