Ballast water is a crucial and integral part of our shipping industry. It is a necessity for our ships to operate in a safe and economic way. Ballast water is used to balance ships, make them seaworthy, and create a safer working atmosphere. Unfortunately, the ballast water contains various species and animals that, if brought elsewhere, can cause damage that is very difficult to reverse. Damage has already been done but it is not too late for action, and with the help of the United States Coast Guard and various laws and regulations we can fix the problem and prevent further infestation. Although ballast water is a crucial part in a ship’s travels, it has a serious impact on the environment if it isn’t regulated in an intelligent manner. First, the problem will be covered in detail and then the various methods for fixing and regulating it will be explained.
Covering the topic of ballast water isn’t very difficult but it needs to be understood in order to see exactly how big of a deal this is. Ballast water is used to balance the ship and make it more hydrodynamic. The process used to ballast a ship is straight forward and the concept is fairly easy to grasp. Water is brought into the tanks and stored there for however long it is needed. There are ballast tanks all over modern ships. They are located forward, aft, amidships, port and starboard and all used in accordance with
Ballast Water! 2
where the weight distribution is needed. If a ship is listing one way or another they pump water into the other side of the ship and balance it out. Without ballast our ships would be capsizing and could not be near as efficient as they now are. Once ships arrive at their destination the water is pumped in to account for the loss of cargo. The cargo is off loaded and simultaneously the water is pumped in to keep the ship upright and steady. When the cargo is loaded at their next destination the water is pumped out and with it every living thing in there. The...