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IP037: Hull fouling as a source of marine invasion in the Antarctic

ATCM XXX and CEP X 2007, New Delhi, India

Information Paper

IP037: Hull fouling as a source of marine invasion in the Antarctic

Summary:

Annex II to the Protocol on Environmental Protection, on the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora requires that precautions be taken to prevent the introduction of non-native species to the Antarctic Treaty Area. At CEP IX, New Zealand introduced WP13 and IP46 on Non-Native Species in the Antarctic. The CEP agreed with the six recommendations arising from the workshop reported in WP13, including that ‘the issue of non-native species should be given the highest priority...’ and that ‘...particular research attention needs to be given to microbial communities and marine ecosystems’.

The introduction of non-native marine species can take place either via dispersal as fouling organisms on kelp rafts (and possibly other organisms), plastic debris or small water craft, or via transport on or in ships entering the Antarctic Treaty area. In the case of ships, introductions may take place via ballast water exchange or by fouling of the hull and sea chests (recessed intake areas for seawater used in the ship’s operation). At CEP IX the United Kingdom presented WP 5 (rev. 1) Practical Guidelines for Ballast Water Exchange in the Antarctic Treaty Area, with the aim to support early implementation of these guidelines developed by the IMO Ballast Water Convention. This led to Resolution 3 (2006) which recommended that the Practical Guidelines for Ballast Water Exchange in the Antarctic Treaty Area be used by all ships in the Antarctic Treaty area except those referred to in Article 3, paragraph 2 of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention.

Although the risks from introductions via ballast water could be significant, adoption of Resolution 3 (2006) by the ATCM has substantially reduced that risk. This information paper focuses on risks associated with fouling communities that have been reported from vessels operating in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It provides a brief summary of the available information, provides access to this information through an appropriate bibliography, and makes several recommendations for additional research.

ATCM - Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
CEP - Committee for Environmental Protection
30th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
30 Apr 2007 - 11 May 2007