The Great Lakes Fishery Commission 52nd Annual Meeting just commenced in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. At the meeting, the U.S. and Canadian Advisors passed the resolution (below) on the need to stop aquatic invasive species from ocean-going vessels through the immediate passage of comprehensive federal legislation and a moratorium on ocean-vessel access into the Great Lakes until effective methods of ballast water treatments are implemented.
Advisor Resolution Regarding Ballast
Whereas, the Great Lakes have been subjected to at least 183 aquatic invasive species introductions with several of these spreading to other regions, and
Whereas, continued introduction of aquatic invasive species are contributing to what has been termed an “invasional meltdown” of the ecosystems within the Great Lakes, causing irreversible ecological damage and contributing to severe economic loss, and
Whereas, aquatic invasive species have adversely affected the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy, and
Whereas, ballast water may provide a vector for human and fish and wildlife pathogens to enter Great Lakes waters, and
Whereas, vessels entering the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean are the number one source of new aquatic invasive species entering the Great Lakes, and
Whereas, current ballast water regulations have proven ineffective inasmuch as the rate of aquatic invasive species introductions has not slowed, and
Whereas, governmental action on legislation, regulation, and funding to remedy this serious problem has been woefully lacking, and
Whereas, meaningful, comprehensive AIS legislation has not been implemented in either the United States or Canada, despite broad consensus in the Great Lakes region that it should, and
Whereas competitive alternative modes of transport, (truck, train, lake carrier), are available.
Therefore be it Resolved that the U.S. and Canadian Advisors urge the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its Commissioners to support the immediate passage of comprehensive federal legislation in both countries to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, with special emphasis on ballast water regulations.
Be it further resolved that the U.S. and Canadian Advisors ask that the Commission and its Commissioners support a moratorium on entrance of oceangoing vessels into the Great Lakes until effective methods of ballast water treatments are implemented.
Passed unanimously by the U.S. and Canadian Committees of Advisors 6/6/07