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Perceptions of Sri Lankan Seafarers about the Necessity of Ratifying the Ballast Water Management Convention in Sri Lanka

Authors:

I. C. Kulathunga ,

CINEC Campus, LK
About I. C.
Department of Marine Engineering, Faculty of Marine Engineering
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K. S. A. Weerasena

CINEC Campus, LK
About K. S. A.
Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Education
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Abstract

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) developed and adopted the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments” (Ballast Water Management Convention or BWM Convention) in February 2004 to prevent the uptake or discharge of invasive alien species and harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments [5]. The BWM Convention entered into force on the 08th of September 2017. In 2020, 85 countries have ratified the Convention, representing 91. 11 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage [4]. Yet, Sri Lanka as a Flag State (FS) has still not ratified the BWM Convention [8]. This research explored the perception of the Sri Lankan seafarers about the necessity of ratifying the BWM Convention by Sri Lanka. The data for this qualitative/ quantitative study were gathered via interviews and questionnaires given to 80 merchant navy officers from both deck and engineering departments. Results of this study show that the Sri Lankan merchant navy officers bear the idea that Sri Lanka should ratify the BWM Convention as Sri Lankan waters receive ballast water from international vessels threatening the Sri Lankan marine ecosystems, economy and human health. Findings of the study revealed most of the Sri Lankan merchant navy officers have identified the need of ratifying the BWM Convention to preserve the coastal and marine environment and protect the endangered and indigenous aquatic species living in Sri Lankan waters. The respondents also viewed that Sri Lanka as a Port State (PS) should establish port reception facilities and provide training for port state control officers. Most of the merchant navy officers highlighted the need of a national policy framework strengthened by scientific research to address the issue. The financial incapacity to develop a task force and a national strategy, as well as the financial inability to develop scientific research skills and continuous monitoring & training were identified by the respondents as the main challenges to ratify the BWM Convention by Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Kulathunga IC, Weerasena KSA. Perceptions of Sri Lankan Seafarers about the Necessity of Ratifying the Ballast Water Management Convention in Sri Lanka. CINEC Academic Journal. 2021;5(1):159–68. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/caj.v5i1.85
Published on 05 Jan 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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