Industry Issues

Invasive Species

Aquatic Species

Aquatic Species: Includes both aquatic plant and aquatic animal species. Invasive aquatic plants are introduced plants that have adapted to living in, on, or next to water, and that can grow either submerged or partially submerged in water. Invasive aquatic animals require a watery habitat, but do not necessarily have to live entirely in water. Learn more

Ballast Water: The World Shipping Council is working with a number of organizations on an effective solution for managing ballast water discharges from vessels so as to minimize the environmental risk they present as a pathway for invasive marine species.

Hull Fouling: Hull fouling is a potential vector for transferring aquatic species. The potential for vessels to transfer aquatic species is a function of how effective the anti-fouling system is that is used by a particular vessel and whether organisms can be transported via "niche-fouling" in sea chests, and other structures where the antifouling system is unable to perform in the same manner as coatings subjected to more typical water flow conditions. Since it is extremely costly for large commercial vessels to allow significant fouling of their hulls, it stands to reason that the risk of transfer is more likely associated with "niche fouling" or through smaller vessels that may not use effective antifouling systems. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is currently evaluating the issue of hull fouling as a vector for the transfer of aquatic species and is specifically looking at the risks associated with "niche fouling" and other related considerations.

Other Invasive Species

Asian Gypsy Moths: Asian Gypsy Moths are a highly destructive environmental pest, whose eggs can be transported aboard ships and on international shipping containers. The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), closely monitors Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) populations in seaport areas in Japan, China, Korea, and Far East Russia. During the annual AGM infestation season, which runs from June to October, APHIS requires pre-departure certifications for ships calling in the highest risk Asian ports bound for the United States. APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers also inspect vessels arriving into the United States to ensure they are not infested with AGM egg masses. Vessels found to have more than "several" egg masses onboard, will either be detained in port until the egg masses are removed or will be ordered to return to sea to remove the egg masses prior to being allowed entry into the U.S. and Canada. Learn more from USDA.

Wood Packaging Materials: The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures: Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM15) is an international standard adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to prevent the spread of invasive pests in wood packaging materials made of unprocessed raw wood, which is recognized as a pathway for the introduction and spread of pests. ISPM15 requires wood packaging materials used in international trade to be either heat-treated or fumigated and then marked with the IPPC logo and the country code in which the treatment occurred. Learn more from USDA .