A number of ships use ballast water during transport. The water can contain so-called invasive species, i.e. small marine animals and other organisms that live in the area where the ballast water is collected. When the ballast water is transported to other areas of the sea and discharged the invasive species can pose a threat to the marine environment into which they have been released.
In 2004, in an attempt to minimise the spreading of invasive species, the UN’s International Maritime Organization, IMO, passed a convention imposing ships to process the ballast water before releasing it back into the sea. The convention will come into force a year after it has been ratified by 30 countries covering 35 per cent of the world’s total tonnage.
Finland's ratification in September 2016 means that the convention will come into force 8 september 2017.
Please find the Policy Paper from Danish Shipping below for further information on the challenges connected to ballast water.