Who could have foreseen that the introduction of steel-hulled vessels 120 years ago, which enabled full scale use of sea water as ballast, would have had such a tremendous impact on the environment?
The invention aimed at reducing stress on the hull, improving transverse stability, propulsion and manoeuvrability along with compensating the weight lost due to fuel and water consumption.
But it also backfired at humans by launching a scourge of bioinvasion.
In those days no one thought about tiny invertebrates, bacteria, microbes, eggs, cysts and larvae - the so-called aquatic invasive species - that are going to travel thousands of miles floating in ballast water and devastate local ecosystems, cause economic disbenefits and even kill people.
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Global Port & Marine Operations - 11th International Harbour Masters Congress 25-28 June 2018 UK/London