• The cognizant U.S. authority,5 as a matter of priority, should be tasked with developing domestic guidelines to minimize the translocation of unwanted nonindigenous organisms among U.S. ports by vessels engaged in trade along U.S. coasts. All interested parties should be involved from an early stage in formulating guidelines and in developing ways to implement them.

  • The associated U.S. authorities should sponsor and encourage further research and development for killing or removing aquatic organisms in ballast water. In this regard, options for treating ballast water should not be limited to technologies for shipboard use. Shoreside treatment should be investigated as a possible alternative.

Recommendation for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. National research and development, including one or more demonstration projects, should focus on the following:

  • optimizing the filtration approach to treating ballast water

  • identifying the level of biological activity that indicates that treatment has reduced the risk of species introduction to an acceptable level

  • developing automated monitoring systems suitable for shipboard use

To avoid duplication of effort, these activities should take into account related research and development in other countries.

Recommendation to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. The results of this study should be disseminated to coastal states, including states bordering the Great Lakes.

Recommendation for the U.S. maritime industry. At the same time research and development are undertaken to address long-term solutions for controlling introductions of nonindigenous aquatic organisms, the U.S. maritime industry should pursue implementation of a combination of practices for managing ballast water and the control options described herein, within the framework of existing international guidelines.

Recommendation for the member states of IMO. Future international considerations should include establishing guidelines for baseline sampling of ports for specific organisms. Samples should be tested to agreed-upon international standards to facilitate comparisons of the water of each ballast uptake port with the water of receiving ports.


 The cognizant U.S. authority may be the Coast Guard, the state, or the port authority, depending on circumstances.

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