Officers and crew must receive proper training in ballast water management, according to IMO and USCG requirements, and there is anecdotal evidence that this support is much-needed.
Alan Clare, fleet superintendent at Ireland’s Corrib Ship Management, conducted some research among ships’ crew as part of his selection process to choose a suitable ballast water management system (BWMS) for his company’s ships.
Describing his findings to the Sixth IMarEST Ballast Water Technology Conference in January, he revealed an unexpected result: “most of the seagoing engineer respondents were not aware of the convention and that a treatment system would have to be installed.” If his findings are representative, then onboard training must include some fundamental topics.
One course that does start with some basic material is available from The Marpol Training Institute in the US, which has an established two-hour Navigating Ballast Water Management course that can be followed either on board or ashore.
Norway’s Seagull provides a one-hour course for both deck and engine crew that also covers a broad brief, starting with the background to ballast water management and the environmental threats and leading on to ballast water management techniques.
Videotel of the UK revised its Ballast Water Management training package in October, shortly after IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention was ratified. It covers ballast water management plan implementation, stressing the need for proper record keeping and operator training on a compliant BWMS.