New global ballast water rules agreed

Members of the International maritime organisation (IMO) have agreed an international convention aimed at improving ships' management of ballast water, thereby reducing risks of spreading potentially harmful organisms to new environments. Treatment equipment for ballast water will have to be installed on new ships after 2009 and on all vessels after 2016. Entry into force will be 12 months after ratification by 30 states representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage. Environmental group WWF called the convention "a step in the right direction". See press releases by IMO and WWF.

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