Jamaica and Malta have become the latest states to sign up to the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention – the international treaty requiring ships to manage their ballast water to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic species across the globe.

The convention entered into force on September 8 and a total of 65 signatories now represent 73.92% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.

On September 11, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith and the High Commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom, Seth George Ramocan, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London to deposit Jamaica’s instrument of accession to the treaty.

Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects of Malta met the Secretary-General on September 12, emphasizing the importance of the treaty to which Malta acceded earlier this month.

Under the rules of the convention, all ships engaged in international trade need to manage their ballast water so as to avoid the introduction of alien species into coastal areas, including exchanging their ballast water or treating it using an approved ballast water management system.

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