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User consultation

Ballast Water Risk preparatory User Consultation

The workshop will be held on the 25th of January 2011 in BSH, Hamburg, Germany


The intrusion of invasive species into oceanic waters and especially coastal waters is among the four highest risks for our marine environment. The International Maritime Organisation has drafted the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments”, an international convention to prevent the potentially devastating effects of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms carried by ships' ballast water. Once the Ballast Water Convention is in force, measures are requested for the treatment of the ballast water. Therefore, a lot of emphases are put into the development of ballast water treatment onboard of the ships as well as on the identification of ballast water exchange areas. The convention foresees the possibility of exemptions from ballast water treatment under certain conditions.

The European Space Agency is inviting stakeholders of ballast water matters to a User Consultation Meeting in order to identify community needs and to discuss the potential offered by earth observation. The meeting will address in particular the problem of assessment of the marine environment with respect to ballast water exchange and the risk assessment due to such exchange.

The meeting will be centred on 3 themes, discussing the global dimension of ballast Water management, the ballast water exchange risk assessment in near real time, and finally the requirements for tools and data, including earth observation, in-situ and model data. The layout of the workshop is to introduce each theme by key and user presentations, followed by a discussion on requirements to be used as a baseline for a potential project initiated by ESA.

The meeting will be hosted by the German Federal and Maritime Agency (BSH), Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 78, 20359 Hamburg.


Start: 09:00, Gauss-Saal (Großer Sitzungssaal)

Introduction (45min)

   - Presentation by ESA
   - Key note on Ballast Water, Brian Elliot

Theme 1: Global challenge (45min)

   - User presentation , Etienne Brutel de la Rivière
   - Discussion, conclusion on requirements

- Coffee break: (30 min)

Theme 2: Ballast water exchange (1h)

  - Swedish Experience implementing the BWMC, Henrik Ramstedt
  - Norwegian Experience implementing the BWMC, Geir Hovik Hansen
  - Discussion, conclusion on requirements

- Lunch break – (1h)

Theme 3: Products and Tools requirements (1.15h)

   - Scientific Aspects of identification of Ballast Water Exchange Zones,Manfred Rolke
   - Ballast Water Risk Index – a tool for assessing the risk for ballast water exchange using multiple data sources, Kerstin Stelzer
   - Some thoughts on an ideal tool for Administrators, Kai Trümpler
   - Discussion, conclusion on requirements
   - Review of requirements and drafting of recommendation to ESA (1.5h)

End of meeting: 16:00