Potentially damaging effects of ballast water on sensitive marine environments takes centre stage tomorrow at an important Caribbean conference on the subject.
Bertrand Smith, The Maritime Authority of Jamaica’s Director of Legal Affairs, will deliver a presentation on the implications of ratifying the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention 2004 . Mr Smith chairs the 25-country task force on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments in the Wider Caribbean Region.
The presentation will highlight the main features of the Ballast Water Management Convention as well as the legislative and policy steps being taken by Jamaica’s National Task Force, chaired by the Maritime Authority, to give full and proper effect to the Convention to which Jamaica expects to accede during 2011.
Delegates attending the Ballast Water Management and Marine Invasive Species in Jamaica conference at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday January 25th will learn of the findings of a three-year study funded by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica entitled “The impact of marine invasive species on Jamaica’s biological diversity through the release of ballast water.” The project analysed ballast water samples from international vessels coming into Jamaica to test their potential for marine invasive species.
Over recent months Mr Smith has been actively promoting the need for Jamaica to sign the IMO convention by hosting and attending numerous workshops and presentations throughout the region. He explained: “The MAJ believes it is vital for Jamaica and other Countries in the region to accede to the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention due to its strategic location as a marine hub for maritime traffic, including the accommodation of one third of the world’s oil traffic and the existence of highly sensitive marine ecosytems at risk of devastation by marine invasive species carried in ballast water.”