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Discharging ballast water

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Ballast water is used by shipping world-wide to enhance the safety and operational efficiency of modern vessels. When cargo is unloaded from a vessel, ballast is taken up to maintain the trim and draft of the vessel. When a vessel loads ballast water, it also takes up all the minute organisms contained in that water which may include planktonic species, the larvae invertebrates and fish, and pathogens. These organisms are released with the ballast water at another port when the vessel loads more cargo. It has been estimated that world-wide, over 3,000 species are transported in ballast water every day.

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<table style="border:1px solid;padding:2px; width:310px;" ><tr><td><a href="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/1010/"><img src="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/images/embed/300_0_AS2792.jpg" width="300" alt="Discharging ballast water" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0; border: 0px;"></a><br/><a href="https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/1010/">Discharging ballast water</a><br />by CSIRO</td></tr></table>
Discharging ballast water
Discharging ballast water
by CSIRO

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