Invaders from the Sea wins top award

A documentary on aquatic invasive species (AIS) transported in ballast water has won the gold award in the category of “Best United Nations Feature” at the United Nations Documentary Film Festival. The film was produced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, in cooperation with the BBC and the shipping industry.

Invaders from the Sea shows how harmful organisms transported in ballast water by ships have devastated biological and economic resources in many areas around the world, largely due to expanded maritime trade and traffic volume over the last few decades. The film captures the dramatic impact of this issue on the lives of millions of people, using examples of three harmful organisms, which have been transported to new areas in ships’ ballast water: the North American comb jelly, the Golden mussel (Limnoperma fortunei) and toxic algae (aka red tides and harmful algal blooms).

The film also highlights the progress made by IMO and the maritime industry in addressing this issue and the measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of harmful organisms. In addition to the IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, IMO is executing the Global Ballast Water Management Project to assist developing countries in reducing the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water.

The IMO documentary features some of the solutions to preventing the spread of invasive species in ships’ ballast water, including exchange of ballast water on the high seas and new technologies that are under development, such as flow-through systems to exchange ballast water continuously while the ship is sailing and methods to kill or render inactive microscopic life forms by, for example, using ozone or ultraviolet light.

Invaders from the Sea is now available from IMO Publishing at: http://vp.imo.org/shop/v020e

For more information, please visit: http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=1472&doc_id=7970

No comments: