The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet.
Since the introduction of steel-hulled vessels, sea water has been used as ballast to stabilize them. Ballast water is therefore essential for safe and efficient ship operations.
However, in ballast water we find a multitude of marine species, including bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and larvae of various species. The species carried in ships’ ballast water may survive to establish a reproductive population in the host environment, becoming invasive, out-competing native species and multiplying into pest proportions causing serious ecological, economic and health problems.
The problem is largely due to the expanded trade and traffic volume over the last few decades. The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been at the front of the international effort by taking the lead in addressing the transfer of invasive aquatic species through shipping.
The Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention was adopted by consensus at a Diplomatic Conference held at IMO Headquarters in London on 13 February 2004. The Convention requires all ships to implement a ballast water management plan. All ships must carry a Ballast Water Record Book and will be required to carry out ballast water management procedures to a given standard.
With the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention on 8 September 2016, the convention entered into force 12 month later on 8 September 2017. From that moment ships have to comply with the requirements of the D1 standard.
Ships that have to renew their IOPP certificate have to meet with the D2 standard on 8 September 2019. The D2 standard consist of requirements to dispose the ballast water. To meet with the demands ships have to treat their ballast water on board or deposit it in the port. Many vessels will install a Ballast Water Treatment System from the moment they have to meet the D2 standard. An IOPP certificate has to be renewed every five years. This means that all ships have to comply with the D2 standard between 8 September 2019 and 8 September 2024. This only goes for existing vessels. New build ships that will be produced after 8 September 2017 have to meet with the D2 standard immediately.
Furthermore the UN's Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the world's heads of state and government at the UN summit in New York on 25 September 2015. They marked an unprecedentedly ambitious and transformative development agenda. The goals came into force on 1 January 2016 and by 2030 will set us on a course towards more sustainable development for both humans and the planet. The UN's World Goals consist of 17 goals and 169 sub-goals and are to date the most ambitious and global development agenda.
For Bawat, the UN's World Goals are a natural extension of our fundamental purpose. Bawat wants to take their part in developing a sustainable agenda to keep our planet safe for future generations.
Especially Goal 14: LIFE BELOW WATER - Protecting the sea and oceans from ballast water from ships is the foundation of Bawat all the way back in 2011.
Our aim with creating a ballast water management system was to preserve the biodiversity and make sure that invasive species are kept away from oceans and seas when vessels travel between destinations and enter harbours. Furthermore we want to do this in the most sustainable way by using waste heat from vessels' engines.