Sea water tests on foreign ships

Ballast water is tested before being discharged to ensure there is no danger to the local environment.

Shanghai is testing sea water carried by foreign vessels ahead of an international maritime environment convention coming into force on Friday.

Under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard.

Ballast water is extracted by ships and stored on ballast tanks to ensure balance and trim. It is discharged when the ship is loaded.

This water may contain invasive species or other foreign matter, and as a result the convention was drawn up to address environmental concerns.

An estimated 500 species are estimated to have entered China, and grow up well, nearly a fifth of them posing dangers to the local environmental, in turn causing economic losses put at hundreds of billions of yuan.

Professors from Shanghai Ocean University have made a mobile testing vehicle to test the ballast water.

“We can have five inspectors on board, and it is well equipped. It can tell us whether the sea water from other places is clean or not,” said Professor Wu Huixian.

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