Invasive Species Prevention

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Oct 21, 2014 Comments Off on Invasive Species Prevention admin

In the wake of the Great Lakes outbreak of the fish pathogen Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, there was concern the virus could spread via ships’ ballast water. NEMWI undertook research to address:

  • Are harmful microbes in ballast water a concern for the Great Lakes?
  • If so, what is an efficient approach to monitor harbors and ships for microbes of concern to the region?

Further, the NEMWI undertook ground-breaking research to determine “how low to go” in ballast discharge standards to achieve sufficient sterility, i.e. the “Risk-Release” relationship. NEMWI tests the approach recommended in the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences report Assessing the Relationship between Propagule Pressure and Invasion Risk in Ballast Water, testing AIS establishment with direct surveys of ship discharges and AIS establishment in harbors over time. NEMWI received significant support from the Great Lakes Protection Fund for both projects.

Activities and Output (2013):

  • Created Harmful Microbes in Ballast Water: The Reasons and Tools for an Early Warning System for the Great Lakes Region report.
  • Created A Ballast Discharge Monitoring System for Great Lakes Relevant Ships: A Guidebook for Researchers, Ship Owners and Agency Officials guidebook.
  • Presented on ballast water testing at the congressional briefing “Ballast Water and the Great Lakes.”
  • Consolidated, in collaboration with the Maritime Environmental Resource Center, information on harbor water quality globally to assure rigorous ballast water treatment testing requirements.