The Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which is in line with the global convention was cleared in a meeting of cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The cabinet also approved accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (Ballast Water Management Convention) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Ships fill their ballast tanks with water to stabilize vessels at sea for maintaining safe operating conditions throughout a voyage. This water reduces stress on the hull, provides transverse stability, improves propulsion and manoeuvrability and compensates for weight.
However, ballast water poses serious ecological, economic and health problems due to the multitude of marine species being carried in the process, including Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens (HAOP). The convention requires all new ships to implement an approved ballast water and sediments management plan and carry a ballast water record book and follow ballast water management procedures to a given standard.
Article Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/cabinet-nod-for-bill-to-manage-merchant-vessels-ballast-water- 115042900692_1.html
Publication Date: 29 April 2015