• Chris Marrow of South West based Blue Tech Expert Team Limited

A new law to protect the South West’s precious marine ecosystems comes into force on the 8th September.

Foreign aquatic species are creating a major threat across the globe, and shipping has been identified as a major pathway for introducing deadly new species to our local waterways, said Chris Marrow, chief executive of Blue Tech Expert Team Limited.

Mr Marrow, said: “The problem has increased as trade and traffic volume as expanded since the Second World War, and especially the introduction of steel hulls, allowing vessels to use water instead of solid materials as ballast.”

“The effects of the introduction of new species have in many areas of the world been devastating, and with a new post-Brexit global Britain the volumes of seaborne trade look set to increase.”

The Ballast Water Management Convention, adopted in 2004, aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one continent to the other, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments.

Mr Marrow, added: “Under the convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard.”

“All ships will have to carry a ballast record book and international ballast water management certificate, and water management standards will be phased in over a period of time.”

“The Americans may have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, but are the world leader in regulating against invasive aquatic species invading its local waterways and ecosystems,” he said.

David Wright, co-chair, IMarEST Ballat Water Experts Group, based at the University of Maryland, said: “I’m currently making representation to the British Coast Guard to take the initiative with respect to inspections and compliance assessment of the ballast water convention, which comes into force on September 8th.”

“Although implementation for existing ships (as opposed to new builds) has been pushed back a couple of years. Part of my Balllast Water Treatment System (BWTS) testing experience has been in China which is home to several BWTS manufacturers. Although the Chinese have indicated they will go their own way regarding enforcement and inspections,” he said.

Anyone looking for more information can email Chris Marrow:


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