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The proposed framework of the adaptive system

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4The proposed framework of the adaptive system


The proposed framework consists of the following major components: monitoring, an information system, criteria for the selection of TS, port-to-port risk assessment, administration decision and review (see Figure 1). The components form an adaptive system on granting A-4 exemptions for the BWMC, which ensures that all key principles defined in the IMO Guidelines for risk assessment (IMO 2007) are taken into account and the system is subject to a constant development and improvement as experience on granting exemptions evolves. Details of each of the components are described in sections 5, 6 and 7 below.

Figure 1. The proposed framework for the adaptive system on granting A-4 exemptions for the BWMC.

5Selection of target species

5.1Intitial list of species


The first requirement is to define the spatial context. This depends on the purpose of the risk assessment procedure (i.e. ports situated within one LME or in two different LMEs). Assessments are greatly dependent upon reliable data and its availability which may need to be drawn from a LME or a sea region within an LME. Both native pests as well as NIS and CS should be considered.

The list of potentially harmful native species should contain harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (HAOP), harmful algal bloom species (HAB), aquaculture pests/parasites/diseases and some of these species may be available from World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) sources.

The list of non-indigenous and cryptogenic species should be obtained from continuously updated and verified sources, such as the Information system on Aquatic Non-Indigenous and Cryptogenic Species (AquaNIS; www.corpi.ku.lt/databases/aquanis) or similar reliable information system.

The compilation of the initial list of species is the first action in the overall procedure (see Figure 2)


5.2Target species criteria


Species that are defined as TS are a small subset of the native species, NIS and CS occurring within a defined region. To enter on a TS list the species must have some level of impact, and have invasive properties, depending upon the level of perceived level of impact. Such species may be termed ‘invasive alien species’, IAS (Olenin et al. 2010). Included amongst TS are those native species that have mass expansions that result in some level of impact that may be termed ‘blooms’ or outbreak periods. There is a general term in the BWMC to cover all of these species termed HAOP (IMO, 2004).

The proposed criteria for the selection of the TS are given below. These follow the IMO (2007) risk assessment requirements and involve yes/no answer (Figure 2).



  1. Is there actual evidence of the species being found in ballast water and/or sediments?


  1. Is there a potential for an unacceptable risk for the species to become entrained in ballast tanks?

    1. Species has pelagic life-history stage

    2. Species performs diurnal vertical migrations

    3. Species has a pelagic host

    4. Species is present in sediments in shallow water ports (BW uptake areas)

If the answer is ‘yes’ to at least one of the above points, the species screening procedure should continue.

  1. Is there a potential for unacceptable risk for the species to be spread further within the selected assessment area?

    1. The species is already established in all colonisable regions/countries in particular LME

    2. The species is unable to colonise further areas based on the known physiological tolerance limits

If the answer is ‘yes’ to at least one of the above points, the species screening procedure should continue.

  1. Has the species been documented as having an impact upon human health in the selected LME?

    1. Mortality

    2. Illness

    3. Pain

    4. Irritation

Both poisonous and venomous species should be included. Poisonous organisms are capable of producing poison that gains entry to human body via the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or via absorption through intact body layers. Venomous organisms are capable of producing poison, usually injected through intact skin by bite or sting. Also organisms that accumulate toxins of natural or anthropogenic origin and may be consumed by humans should be included.

  1. Is there a potential for unacceptable risk for the species to impact upon human health in the selected LME?

    1. Based on global evidence [follow the structure from previous point]

    2. Insufficient evidence to rule out unacceptable risk - see point 6.5.7 in IMO (2007)


  1. Has the species been documented as having an impact upon economy in the selected LME?

    1. Damage to property

    2. Decline of employment

    3. Decline of income

It should include considerations of decline of ecosystem services: water quality, commercial stocks, beaches, aquaculture.

  1. Is there a potential for unacceptable risk for the species to impact upon economy in the selected LME?

    1. Based on global evidence [follow the structure from previous point]

    2. Insufficient evidence to rule out unacceptable risk - see point 6.5.7 in IMO 2007b


  1. Has the species been documented as having an impact upon ecology in the selected LME?

    1. Biodiversity

      1. Genetic

      2. Species (incl. protected and rare species)

      3. Habitats (incl. protected and rare habitats)

    2. Ecosystem functioning


  1. Is there a potential for unacceptable risk for the species to impact upon ecology in the given LME?

    1. Based on global evidence [follow the structure from previous point]

    2. Insufficient evidence to rule out unacceptable risk - see point 6.5.7 in IMO 2007b.


  1. Has the species been documented as having an impact upon cultural and social values in the given LME?

    1. Degradation of culturally and nationally important places, incl. change in seascape

    2. Decline of nationally/culturally important individuals

    3. Degradation of amenity

    4. Impact on human activities (diving, swimming, sailing, fishing)


  1. Is there a potential for unacceptable risk for the species to impact upon cultural and social values in the selected LME?

    1. Based on global evidence [follow the structure from previous point]

    2. Insufficient evidence to rule out unacceptable risk - see point 6.5.7 in IMO 2007b.

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