Biological Conservation 102, 331-341 (2002)
Aquatic invasive species can have devastating effects on the ecosystems they invade. It is well known that many invasive species are transported long distances to foreign environments in ship ballast water. Experiments on the deoxygenation of ballast water suggest that the process could not only lower survivorship of species in the ballast water but also prove cost effective for the ships by lowering the rust levels of ballast tanks.
Mario Tamburri of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and his colleagues tested the survivorship of aquatic organisms as well as rust accumulations in oxygenated water vs. deoxygenated water in ballast tanks. They found that rust levels of the deoxygenated water were far less than the oxygenated water and they observed a significant mortality in the deoxygenated water in just a few days. Deoxygenation systems in ships may offer a financial incentive to ship owners as well as significantly reducing the number of aquatic species they transport.
I liked how in your post you included findings from the paper that weren’t specifically about removing the species from the ballast water, but also about a potential incentive for boaters to use this method to help themselves out as well. I think it is awesome to hear that a preventative measure can also end up helping out the boaters because it seems like in a lot of cases the preventative measures scientists come up with to control a species requires boaters to make sacrifices.
This is a great topic to research. Your highlight is very precise and informative. You did a great job presenting the main points of the research and the final findings.
This is interesting. I’m glad you found this information because in my mind I had seen resolution of the ballast water issue as something that would bring conflict between ballast containing ships and environmental protection policy, but this looks like a win-win situation. Have any ships implemented the deoxygenation system yet?