Canada deepens BWTS protection with new program

Canada deepens ballast water (BWTS) protection by announcing the launch of the Ballast Water Innovation Program, part of its Oceans Protection Plan.

Canada deepens ballast water (BWTS) protection by announcing the launch of the Ballast Water Innovation Program, part of its Oceans Protection Plan. Hence, address the challenging regional water conditions that are cold, fresh, and sometimes heavily sedimented.

Concept

Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra last week announced funding of C$12.5m ($9.2m) to launch the Ballast Water Innovation Program, part of its Oceans Protection Plan. The program is a central component of the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance the implementation and enforcement of the 2021 Ballast Water Regulations. Hence, it will play an important role in further reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by investing in innovative solutions to ballast water management.

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Evidence shows that ballast water management systems are an effective solution in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region, said Transport Canada in a press release. However, most ballast water management systems have been developed for warmer, salt-water conditions typically encountered by ocean-going vessels. Great Lakes’ regional water conditions are cold, fresh, and sometimes heavily sedimented. These water conditions can pose a challenge to ballast water management systems in the region.

BWTS Program

To address these challenges and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, the new program will undertake four initiatives. The Program will provide funding over a four-year period. All activities must be completed by March 31, 2027.

It will fund research projects that ensure ballast water management systems are optimized for unique water environments in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Therefore, aiming to provide innovative solutions to ensure the successful implementation of the country’s new ballast water regulations and prevent the entry and spread of invasive aquatic species in the region. As a result, it will enable the government to deepen its technical expertise relating to ballast water management system issues. Finally, it will inform Canada’s discussions with the US and the International Maritime Organization towards more compatible rules and increased environmental protections.

Transport Canada is now accepting applications for research funding from Canadian vessel owners and operators, Canadian port authorities, not-for-profit organizations, public-sector organizations, and academia until May 10. Approved projects are expected to begin in 2023.

Canada’s 2021 Ballast Water Regulations address its commitments under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004, and require the use of ballast water management systems.

Source: Government of Canda

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