Golden Bear Ballast Water Project

Ballast is cruical in large cargo ships to aid with stabalization and counter balance the weight of the vessel as these large ships take on heavy equipment . These ships pump million of liters of water in and out of the ballast tanks and the water that is taken up at one location is discharged at another location. This creates a problem of transporting potential invasive species, which has altered marine ecosystems and local economies worldwide. This is why the Biological Oceanography Lab is working in conjunction with Cal Maritime to type certify ballast water treatment systems. The ship based test facility that the lab works on is Cal Maritime ship, the Golden Bear, located in Vallejo, CA.


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“The International Maritime Organization of the United Nations, charged with prevention of marine pollution by ships, invited Moss Landing Marine Labs’ Dr. Nick Welschmeyer to present a research perspective titled, “Progress in Rapid Biological Methods for Shipboard Ballast Water Compliance Testing” in London. Dr. Welschmeyer was awarded first place in a recent ballast water technology competition funded by the German government, leading to this prestigious invitation.” For more information, click here.

January 29, 2013


Ships traveling the oceans will soon be required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to have certified ballast water treatment systems in place to combat the marine organisms that can live in ballast water taken onboard a ship in one port, and later discharged in a new marine environment. These organisms can multiply rapidly, outpacing the growth of native species and causing havoc for fisheries, seabeds, and friendly organisms that routinely absorb other contaminates. Additionally, international requirements specify that a third party analyze test data and certify that systems meet the latest standards. –Cal Maritime Website
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 Visit the Cal Maritime Academy website for more information about the ship and campus!