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Ballast water issue comparable to climate change: WWF

Ballast water issue comparable to climate change: WWF
The Worldwide Widelife Fund (WWF) says the issue of invasive species in ballast water is “quite comparable to climate change”.

WWF – Norway adviser Lars Erk Mangset said that the issue of invasive species was not visible in the way that an oil spill is.

“The issue of invasive species is comparable to climate change. The issue of invasive species is invisible still,” Mangset told a media briefing for Nor-Shipping 2013 in Oslo. By contrast to an oil spill the public will only notice invasive species when there are no longer any fish in the oceans he said.

WWF is calling for immediate ratification and entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which is yet to come into force despite have been approved in 2004. “We have waited 10 years nearly now and we can’t wait any longer,” he said.

Although the WWF is not happy with the proposed changes to the timetable of implementation the BWM Convention at the recent IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee  (MEPC) meeting they also believe this removes any excuse not to ratify the convention.

“The excuse of many countries [not to ratify the convention] has been the requirement to install treatment systems immediately,” Mangset said. However, if the proposed MEPC changes were adopted he said “I do not see any reason for it not be ratified”.