ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT FROM MARINE INVASIVE SPECIES
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This section of the marine training will give some knowledge of the different threats of ballast water. Let us start with the environmental impact ballast water may have. Marine species are being carried around the world in ships' ballast water. When discharged into new environments, they may become invasive and severely disrupt the native ecology, impact economic activities such as fisheries and cause disease and even death in humans.
Unlike an oil spill, which can be cleaned up, the effects of marine species introductions are usually irreversible. It is estimated that more that seven thousand different species are carried around the world with the ships' ballast every day. Every nine weeks a marine species invades a new environment somewhere in the world. The list of species that have already hitchhiked with ballast water around the world and created damage to the environment includes north American comb jelly, Asian kelp, north pacific seastar, European green crab, zebra mussel, toxic algae, cholers, and many others.
This video will give you some information about each of the marine species causing unwanted impact on the environment. When fisheries, coastal industry and other commercial activities and resources are disrupted by the invading species, this is an example of the economical impact. It is estimated that the actual cost of all invasive marine species is in the vicinity of 183 billion dollars per year in the United States alone...
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