OTTAWA, ON, June 23, 2021 /CNW/ – Canada’s coasts and waterways are vital to our environment, livelihoods, and economy, and must be protected. Ballast water, which helps keep vessels stable in the water, can accidentally introduce and spread aquatic invasive species, like the zebra mussel, if released in the water untreated. These invasive species have severe economic and environmental impacts on ecosystems and industries as they harm plants and animals, degrade beaches, impair fisheries, disrupt infrastructure, and create prevention and control expenses.
To further protect Canadian waters, the Government of Canada is taking action to limit the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in ballast water. Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the coming into force of the new Ballast Water Regulations to strengthen existing rules for vessels on international voyages and the introduction of new rules for vessels which remain in Canada and on the Great Lakes.
These regulations, which replace the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations, apply to vessels in Canadian waters and to Canadian vessels anywhere in the world. They are based on a global approach to manage ballast water. Vessels are now required to:
- plan their ballast water management and reduce the number of organisms in their ballast water, typically by installing a ballast water management system; and
- carry a valid certificate, keep records, and be regularly surveyed and inspected. Smaller vessels may follow an equivalent approach tailored to their operations and size.
The Government of Canada’s focus is on protecting species at risk, and being leaders in nature conservation. This will only be achieved by ensuring nature conservation is integrated with our climate strategies to protect our wildlife and stabilize the climate.