New Zealand has ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which is scheduled to enter into force on September 8, 2017.
The accession brings the number of states party to the convention to 54, representing 53.30% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage.
Designed to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships’ ballast water, the convention will require vessels to manage their ballast water.
The BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for developing global standards for ship safety and security and for the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere from any harmful impacts of shipping.
The convention’s entry into force is expected to be a landmark step towards halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can disrupt local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss.