Great Lakes Environmental Directory Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes grants exotic species water pollution water export drilling environment Great Lakes pollution Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario ecology Great Lakes issues wetlands Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes watershed water quality exotic species Great Lakes grants water pollution water export oil gas drilling environment environmental Great Lakes pollution Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes ecology Great Lakes issues Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Resources Great Lakes activist Great Lakes environmental organizations Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat air pollution alien species threatened rare endangered species ecological Great Lakes information Success Stories Great Lakes Directory Home/News Great Lakes Calendar Great Lakes jobs/volunteering Search Great Lakes Organizations Take Action! Contact Us Resources/Links Great Lakes Issues Great Lakes News Article About Us Networking Services

Great Lakes Article:

New marine guidelines aim to curb aquatic hitchhikers
KEVIN COX
The National
12/11/2002


HALIFAX -- So-called bio-invaders from warm, southern waters that hitch rides to Canada in the ballast tanks of container ships pose a major threat to the aquaculture, fishing and tourism industries on the East Coast, according to proposed federal marine guidelines.

The guidelines urge ships that have taken on ballast water in the southern United States to stop disposing of it in sensitive environmental areas, and take it outside the 200-mile Canadian economic zone. Environmentalists, federal officials and shipping-industry representatives are debating the guidelines.

The guidelines, proposed by the group headed by Transport Canada, have not been adopted, because shipping-company representatives have asked for more time to consider the adaptation of vessels to the new system.

But a Halifax environmentalist who is on the committee reviewing the issue accused shipping representatives yesterday of stalling, allowing vessels to discharge ballast into areas such as the Bras d'Or Lakes, where a mysterious virus called MSX has decimated some oyster stocks.

A ship takes on ballast water to add weight and stability as it travels to a port to pick up cargo. The water, which contains sediment, algae, seaweed and a wide array of bacteria and viruses, is dumped after the ship takes on its load.

Bio-invaders of the Great Lakes, such as zebra mussels and lamprey eels, are believed to have arrived in ballast. There is speculation that the recent outbreak of the MSX malady that has decimated some Nova Scotia oyster farms can be traced to the disposal of ballast water into the Bras d'Or Lakes by vessels that dumped water they had loaded in MSX-infected areas of the United States.

"It is just business as usual, and critters are coming in," said Gretchen Fitzgerald, who represents the Nova Scotia-based Ecology Action Centre on a national committee examining the ballast-water threat.

This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Great Lakes environmental information

Return to Great Lakes Directory Home/ Site Map