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Ballast Water Management Plan: Helpful Tips You Need to Know

Ballast water refers to the water containing sediments kept in tanks to enhance maneuverability and stability during transit. Tanks release substances that can cause economic and environmental damage.
Ballast water Treatment Systems play an important role in enhancing the stability of a ship. Both big and small seagoing vessels carry ballast water in order to enhance their stability. That’s why proper ballast water management plan is important for all kinds of vessels. This water minimizes stress when vessels are in transit.

Ballast water ensures that weight lost owing to utilization of fuel and water is balanced off. It offers good maneuverability with the right vessel draft. It also enhances living conditions of people aboard and minimizes vibrations.

The Bad Side of Ballast Water

Ballast water plays an important role when it comes to effectual, secure and safe shipping operations. Research has shown that ballast water can enhance the transmission of damaging and harmful aquatic organisms. It also enhances the pathogens capable of causing serious economic, ecological, and health problems.

The introduction of these damaging pathogens has caused a lot of damages to bio-diversities and coastal regions around the world. Some of the organisms that can be transmitted through this way include Zebra Mussels, Cladoceran Water Fleas, North Pacific Seastars, and North American Comb Jellyfishes.

Steps Taken to Minimize the Negative Effects Caused by Ballast Water

Scientists, ship operators, and ship owners are working hard to prevent the transmission of destructive marine animals present in ballast water. They promote the proper use of ballast water exchange to prevent the transmission of these pathogens. This is on temporary basis, but there are plans to come up with a permanent way to solve this challenge.

Ballast Water Exchange and Its Management

Ballast exchange is actually the process of substituting water in ballast tanks of the ships through techniques like flow-through, sequential, or dilution. It has been proven scientifically that the pathogens and marine organisms taken on in coastal waters may not survive when released to the ocean.

Changes in temperature, salinity, and water chemistry are some of the factors that may affect the survival of marine creatures. Similarly, some of the small animals carried onboard in ocean waters may not survive in coastal waters. Ballast Water Exchange ought to be performed during the voyage of the vessel in different zones of the seabed.

The Ballast Water Management Plan

This plan plays an important role. It provides assistance and guidance to the operators and crew of the vessel. This plan is intended to make sure that the proceedings and steps required in the course of performing ballast water exchange are followed correctly and in the right manner.

Ballast Water Management Officer plays a role in developing detailed processes and measures associated with ballast water exchange. The officer should be knowledgeable in matters regarding the safety aspects of ballast water management plan and ballast water exchange.

The crew concerned with the management of ballast water exchange should know the following:
i)     The right ship loading conditions to apply in the course of ballast water exchange
ii)   Techniques of proving all non-return devices and pipes are in the correct order
iii) Techniques to be applied during ballast water exchange at sea like dilution, Flow-through, and other techniques

Final Thoughts

Information provided above proves that ballast water plays an important role in a vessel. It is important to understand that a ballast water management plan is essential when dealing with vessels. It ensures that the vessel and the surroundings remain in the right condition during every transit.   
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