Monday, March 9, 2009

Alien Fish Take Over Ponds!

Breaking News: Alien fish species may be invading a river near you! Keep your eyes peeled for unnatural sea creatures lurking about!
On March 2, 2009, an alliance was launched to combat the alien menace – the Global Industry Alliance (GIA), which includes the International Maritime Organization, UNDP, the Global Environment Facility and four major private shipping corporations.
Each year, 10 billion tons of ballast water is taken onboard by cargo ships at the start of trips and pumped out upon arrival at their destinations. Ballast water is carried in cargo ships to provide needed stability. Some organisms survive the trip in the ballast and go on to flourish in their new environments – often at the detriment of that environment. For example, the growth of the zebra mussel, introduced into the Great Lakes from southeast Russia, has led to multibillion dollar control and cleaning projects of underwater structures and pipelines.