Hot topics on agenda

THE reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships and the control and management of ballast water and sediments from ships were part of major discussions during the 71st Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) Meeting at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters in London.

In a statement yesterday, the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji said the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) would come into force September 8 this year.

MSAF chief executive officer John Tunidau said a Fiji delegation was part of the meeting, which was attended by 104 IMO member states, two associate member states, eight intergovernmental organisations, 50 non-governmental organisations, World Maritime University and special agencies of the UN.

“This important meeting enables Fiji to engage in high level discussions and decisions made on matters pertaining to the protection of the world’s Marine Environment and climate change as Fiji holds presidency of the Ocean’s Conference and the Conference of Parties (COP) 23,” said Mr Tunidau, who was part of the Fiji delegation.

According to MSAF, the BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 to introduce global regulations to control the transfer of invasive species through ships ballast water tanks and sediments.

“Once the treaty enters into force, ballast water will need to be treated so that any microorganisms or invasive species are destroyed prior to any de-ballast operation on board ships,” MSAF said.

The five-day meeting was held from July 3-7.

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