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Ballast water conveying obtrusive species to Indian coasts

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Researchers expect that ballast water carried by ships is giving a vehicle to get non-native intrusive species over the Indian Coast.

  • In such manner, a study was led by the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala.
  • The survey has found 10 invasive species in the biodiversity rich intertidal habitats of the Kerala coast including one seaweed, one species of bryozoan, one species of mollusc and seven species of ascidian.

Ballast water conveying obtrusive species to Indian coastsWhat is Ballast?
A hefty substance puts in the ship so as to enhance security and control of the ship.

What is Ballast water?
Ballast water is water carried in ship’s ballast tanks to enhance soundness and balance. It is taken up or released when freight is emptied or stacked, or when a boat needs additional stability in foul climate.

  • When ships take on ballast water, plants and animals that live in the ocean are also picked up.
  • It is discharged when the ship enters a new port, releasing alien organisms into the local waters.

Key highlights of study

  • The study has indicated that 10,000 marine species are being transported across the world in ballast water.
  • The colossal loads of ballast water carried by ships mainly transports fish, viruses, algae, zooplankton, bacteria and benthonic invertebrates to harbours at a faster pace.
  • Extension of ports and minor ports paved the way for alien species in Indian marine and beach front zones.
  • Ballast water is also considered a vehicle for toxic algae causing red tides and harmful algal blooms.