Ballast Water

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History of the Resolution

The original form of this resolution was posted to the UN forum by Jamalya in Feb. 2004. Since the original version focused more on providing examples such as the Zebra Mussel and Northern Pacific Sea Star than on explaining what ballast water was and its connection to international shipping, Jamalya encountered a significant amount of political resistance to their proposed draft in the UN forum.

The landlocked nation of Mikitivity, a long-time advocate for controlling invasive species, then proposed a rewrite of Jamalya's original draft in which the new resolution proposed the cycling of ballast water tanks prior to leaving deep waters. This new draft was recirculated in the UN forum, where it largely met the approval of the UN ambassadors who commented on the previous draft of the resolution. This second draft was then revised to include an amendment proposed by Sophista which recommended international cargo vessels to install nitrogen deoxification equiptment or UV steralizers as an alternative or addition to the cycling process proposed by Mikitivity. ( to be added )

Text of the Resolution

Ballast Water
A resolution to increase the quality of the world's environment, at the expense of industry.

Category: Environmental Industry Affected: All Businesses Proposed By: Jamalya

Ballast water is a major vector for invasive marine species. By mandatory cycling of ballast water member nations waters we will reduce the introduction and spead of weedy invasive species such as zebra mussel and northern pacific sea star with minimum disruption to industry.

The NationStates United Nations,

OBSERVING that it is common practice for international cargo ships to release ballast water upon arriving at their destination ports or in waters near these ports,

REALIZING that it is necessary for these ships to use ballast material during long voyages across international waters, and that ballast material is extremely useful in allowing ships to remain level while loading and unloading cargo while in port,

AWARE that ballast water is a primary source of the introduction of nonindigenous or alien species into fragile aquatic ecosystems,

CONCERNED that nonindigenous species frequently have no natural predators in the new ecosystems they are introduced into,

NOTING that often these species compete with or threaten and prey upon native species, including many endangered species,

NOTING FURTHER that protecting biodiversity is of interest to both local and international interests, in that losses in biodiversity have resulted in damages and losses in the stock of commercial fisheries,

  1. RECOMMENDS that international cargo ships using ballast water exchange or cycle this water while in ocean waters exceeding 1,600 meters in depth;
  2. FURTHER RECOMENDS that independant nations pass legislation to mandate the installation of nitrogen deoxification equiptment or UV steralizers on all international cargo ships;
  3. CALLS UPON nations to adopt similar standards for domestic cargo ships that travel through international waters;
  4. SUGGESTS that the uptake of ballast water should be minimized when propellers may stir up sediments and bottom dwelling organisms, or in periods of darkness, when the quality of the ballast water can not be easily accessed;
  5. FURTHER RECOMMENDS that cargo ships, when possible, develop and put into practice routine schedules to clean out the ballast tanks either mid-ocean or in dry docks, in order to minimize the risks of introducing harmful aquatic organisms; and
  6. REQUESTS governments work with the shipping industries based in their countries to assess additional methods of minimizing the risks of introducing harmful aquatic organisms.

Votes For: 13,485
Votes Against: 3,505
Implemented: Sun Mar 14 2004

Additional Materials