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GLIN==> IJC Commends IMO for Global Ballast Water Convention and Highlights Significance to Protecting the Great Lakes

IJC Commends IMO for Global Ballast Water Convention and Highlights
Significance to Protecting the Great Lakes

The International Joint Commission (IJC) today commended the U.S. and
Canadian delegations to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for
their successful work in negotiating a ballast water convention after nearly
seven years of consultations. In particular, the IJC praised a provision
that allows member nations to adopt stricter standards. The IMO is a United
Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping
and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

The new convention will require all ships to implement a ballast water and
sediments management plan, carry a ballast water management record book and
be required to carry out ballast water management procedures to a specific
standard. Commenting on the convention, IMO Secretary-General Eftimios E.
Mitropoulos said its provisions would "prevent, minimize and ultimately
eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organism and pathogens across the
seas and oceans of the world".
"IMO should be congratulated for taking this important step towards stopping
the spread of aquatic invaders, and the U.S. and Canadian delegations should
be commended for their efforts and diligence," said the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray,
Chair of the Canadian Section of the IJC.

"The IJC considers alien invasive species to one of the top threat to
biodiversity in the Great Lakes ecosystem," said Dennis Schornack, Chair of
the U.S. section of the IJC. "We urge the U.S. and Canada to take advantage
of the provision allowing for stricter standards to review proposed domestic
legislation for its adequacy to meet or exceed the IMO standard and to push
for quick implementation of regulations and needed guidelines."

The IJC co-chairs also noted that they are encouraged by the requirement
that all ships must implement ballast water exchange by a certain date, and
that no ships will be grandfathered. Moreover, the convention provides
incentives for shippers to test and evaluate promising ballast water
treatment technologies.

For more information, contact:
Frank Bevacqua(202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé(613) 995-0088

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