Completing managament options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce risk of invasive species introduction by shipping (COMPLETE)
Principal investigator: Henn Ojaveer, henn.ojaveer [ät] ut.ee
Project number: #R069
Duration: May 2017 – September 2020
Partners: Kotka Maritime Research Association (lead partner), Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, Finnish Environment Institute, University of Helsinki, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences and Keep Archipelago Tidy Association (Finland), Klaipėda University (Lithuania), University of Gdansk (Poland), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Germany), University of Tartu (Estonia) and Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (Latvia)
Funded by: European Regional Development Fund (INTERREG Baltic Sea Programme)
Budget: total budget 3.2 mio €, contribution from European Regioanl Development Fund 2.5 mio €
The major involvement of shipping in uncontrolled introduction of invasive species, i.e. potential harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (HAOP) remains an unresolved problem, which may have consequences on environment, economies and human health. To address this problem, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC 2004) and, more recently, the Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships' Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species (2011). At the regional level, the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007) has set the ecological objective ‘No introductions of alien species from ships’.
The management of both ballast water and biofouling of ships is a complex task.The BWMC will enter into force at the 8th of September 2017 and numerous decisions will have to be taken by port state administration and ship owners while implementing the convention. The HELCOM and OSPAR Commissions agreed in 2013 on a joint harmonised procedure (JHP) for BWMC A-4 exemptions to the requirement to treat ballast water based on the IMO Guidelines G7 (2007). The JHP, which aims to ensure a regionally efficient and transparent implementation of the Convention, should be further improved and operationalized regionally. The implementation of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines will help to achieve a ‘win-win’ solution, where the absence of biofouling reduces the risk of potential HAOP introductions, at the same time preventing chemical pollution by antifouling paints and increasing the ships’ performance due to decreased fuel consumption and emissions.
COMPLETE is tackling several gaps and proposing operational frameworks and actual tools: measures on how to take into account rights and obligations of involved stakeholders; developing effective risk assessment procedures for ballast water management exemptions; ensuring active regional cooperation and information exchange of HAOP findings; proposing the integrated regional non-indigenous species (NIS) monitoring system and surveillance for compliance control with ballast water management standards. The target groups are national ministries and agencies of transport and environment; ship owners and their associations; Baltic Sea ports and coastal municipalities; shipyards; marinas and boating associations; HELCOM and its contracting parties. The associated project partners represent the key target groups benefiting from the project outputs.
COMPLETE is addressing one of the key challenges of the BSR with the ultimate goal to develop operational frameworks and provide user-oriented tools to make shipping more environmentally friendly and, whenever possible, without placing an unnecessary burden on the shipping industry.
Information in ETIS