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Ship Ballast Water Management in Turkish Ports and Waterways

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The introduction of invasive marine species into a new environment by ballast water attached to ship hulls has been identified as one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans. The other three are land-based sources of marine pollution, overexploitation of living marine resources, and physical alteration/destruction of marine habitat. Ballast is any material used to add weight to balance an object. One example includes the sandbags carried on conventional hot air balloons, which can be discarded to lighten the balloon’s load, allowing it to ascend. Ballast water is water carried by ships to ensure stability, trim, and structural integrity. Shipping moves over 80% of the world’s commodities and transfers approximately 3‐5 billion tons of ballast water internationally each year. A similar volume may also be transferred domestically within countries and regions each year. Ballast water is absolutely essential to the safe and efficient operation of modern shipping, providing balance and stability to unladen ships. However, it may also pose a serious ecological, economical, and health threat to the marine environment.

Turkey is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and southeastern Europe. Turkey is surrounded by three seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Aegean Sea. The Turkish straits that separate Europe and Asia are one of the busiest waterways of the world. Turkey has several ports and berthing facilities. The number of ships coming to ports or passing through the straits has been increasing in the last decade. Half of these ships are carrying ballast water. Turkey has not ratified the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) as yet but will soon prepare ballast water strategies. This paper discusses two different topics: ship ballast water management strategies and treatment technologies. The authors recommend the best strategies for prevention of ship ballast water pollution in the Turkish straits and ports.
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Keywords: aquatic invasive species; ballast water; pollution; port; waterway

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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