introductions until such time as mandatory international standards can be developed. These guidelines should require a plan for ballast water loading and discharge, developed in conjunction with the cargo plan for each voyage.

Recommendation for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. The following actions should be taken as part of the cooperative national program to prevent unintentional introductions of nonindigenous organisms through ballast water:

  • The United States should support and encourage the early elaboration of a new annex to MARPOL 73/78 making mandatory the use of the existing voluntary guidelines; meanwhile, the IMO-sponsored voluntary guidelines should be continuously reviewed and updated.

  • The cognizant U.S. authority,1 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 such 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


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

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