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What is Ballast Water Management Plan?

In order to reduce the harmful effects on the marine environment that are spread through aquatic micro organisms transferred from one area to another through ballasting operations of the ship, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a convention in order to control and manage ships ballast and sediments ion on 13th February 2004. Which entered into force on 8 September 2017.

Port state authorities from around the world implemented their own requirements for ballasting and de-ballasting operation for ships sailing in their terrestrial water.

To simplify the requirement of the control of ballast water problem, a “ballast water management plan” was introduced which was to be used and implemented on board sailing vessels entering international waters.

Contents of Ballast Water Management Plan:
The ballast water management plan includes the following:
  • International rules and regulations for different port state controls all over the world.
  • Location of ports providing shore discharge facility of sediments and ballast water.
  • Duties of the personnel on board for carrying out ballast operation.
  • Operational procedure along with the method to be used for ballasting.
  • The locations at different coastal water for ballast exchange should be mentioned in the plan.
  • Sampling point and treatment method should be given in the ballast water management plan.

Record of the ballast water exchange with all the following data to be noted:

  • Date of the operation
  • Ship’s ballast tank used in the operation.
  • Temperature of the ballast water.
  • Salinity of the ballast water in PPM (salt content in parts per million).
  • Position of the ship (latitude and longitude).
  • Amount of ballast water involved in operation.
  • All the records entered must be signed by a responsible officer (normally chief officer).
  • Master is overall in-charge of the operation and he will also acknowledge the ballast/ de-ballast operation by signing the BMP log.
  • Date and identification of the tank last cleaned.
  • If there is accidental discharge of ballast exchange it must be entered and signed. Same information is to be given to concerned port state authority.
Advantage of ballast water management plan:
With the help of a proper ballast management plan and some additional information, operational delays can be avoided which will help to save time and money.
Reporting for requirements of different post state authority is simplified. And the most important of all is that a safe ballast exchange can be carried out anywhere in the world.


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