Two regulations have been promulgated to prevent the transfer of non-indigenous species between marine habitats of the world: the 2004 IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, and the 2012 US Coast Guard Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in US Waters. These regulations will apply to more than 60,000 vessels that carry ballast water between various worldwide ports, including smaller vessels that operate in a variety of applications such as towing and offshore support. This paper will define the regulations and review their applicability to smaller vessels, examine the merits and risks of each ballast water treatment technology, provide information on the relative impact of treatment systems to small vessel operations, and identify potential alternatives to onboard treatment.

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