The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, is set to commence the inspection of visiting ships to ensure that they comply with the International Maritime Organization, IMO, Convention on Ballast Water Management.
Ballast water is fresh or salt water, sometimes containing sediments, held in tanks and cargo holds of ships to increase stability and maneuverability during transit.
The Authority has completed the construction of a laboratory for testing of ballast water onboard vessels calling at the nation’s port.
Disclosing this at a training session with members of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN, Director Environmental Protection of the NPA, Sani Shehu, said the action of the Authority is in line with the coming into force of the IMO Convention on ballast water management next year.
Shehu explained that sample of ballast water from ships that come into the country would be collected and tested to determine if it can discharge the water in the country.
Water containing invasive species of organisms, when introduced into the water of another climate, could contaminate and destroy aquatic lives.
Sometimes, consumption of sea foods that are contaminated causes health hazards.
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments is a 2004 international maritime treaty which requires signatory flag states to ensure that ships flagged by them comply with standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments.