Canada's Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations
On June 28th, 2006, Transport Canada published ballast water control and management regulations that convert several existing voluntary guidelines into mandatory requirements. Mandate highlights are below.
- A requirement that all ship operators develop a ballast water management plan for each ship. This plan must outline the measures and procedures established by the operator to ensure that ballast water is being managed safely, effectively, and in compliance with regulations.
- A requirement that ships exchange their ballast water outside the EEZ before entering Canadian waters. When ships do not travel beyond 200 miles from shore, or when ships cannot exchange their ballast water in mid-ocean because of weather or other related safety issues, they will be required to follow other best management practices, which includes treating the ballast water or keeping the water onboard.
- Specifications of alternative zones - located within Canadian waters- where vessels must exchange ballast water to minimize potential impact if vessels are unable to perform an open-ocean exchange due to safety reasons. Coastal traffic from ports south of Cape Blanco must also exchange in these alternate zones.
- A list of specified actions for vessels declaring no ballast onboard and unable to manage their ballast water.
- When verifying compliance through an onboard inspection it is determined that the ship does not comply with the Regulations then Transport Canada will treat the ship the same as an exceptional circumstance and require the ship to comply with one or more of the provisions listed in subsection 13(5) of the Regulations.
- In addition to the mandatory provisions in the Regulations, for ships traveling to and from ports in the Bay of Fundy, it is recommended that exchange occur in the Gulf of Maine in waters greater than 100 meters deep, as indicated in Figure 1. It is also recommended that ship traffic crossing the Gulf of Maine and using a coastal route along the Scotian Shelf should exchange in the Gulf of Maine in waters deeper than 100 meters.
Figure 1. Recommended ballast water exchange zones on the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of Maine. The magenta zone indicates that traffic transiting to/from the Bay of Fundy should exchange in the Gulf of Maine, in water deeper than 100 m. The yellow zone indicates that traffic crossing the Gulf of Maine and using a coastal route on the Scotia Shelf should exchange in the Gulf of Maine, in water deeper than 100 m. The green zone is the exchange zone for on-shelf traffic heading to/from Nova Scotia, plus ships following a shelfbreak path. Ships should exchange in waters deeper than 1000 m, west of Sable Island and the Gully and away from the entrance to N.E. Channel.
For more information on the Canadian ballast water regulations, please email Chris Wiley at WileyC@DFO-MPO.GC.CA, or refer to Transportation Publication 13617, A Guide to Canada's Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations