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Procedure for exchanging ballast at sea - bulk carriers guide

Ships ballast tanks allow her to maintain adequate trim, propeller immersion and sufficient stability to proceed safely on a ballast voyage. This is usually between 30­45% of the carrier's deadweight carrying capacity.

The nature of their trade usually means that bulk carriers spend half of their life travelling large distances in ballast.

It is estimated that billions of tonnes of water, along with thousands of species of plants, bacteria and othe marine organisms, are transported on ballast voyages each year. Anything that can pass alive through a ship's ballast system can be loaded in the ballast tanks and then transported to another country's territorial waters where that particular organism may not yet exist.

The IMO adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention)8 in February 2004. According to this Convention, maritime nations are required to take joint measures to ensure prevention, reduction or elimination of transportation of harmful marine organisms by appropriate management of ships' ballast water and sediments. These measures include rules for the design, control and construction of:

In addition, the following guidelines are also given in the Convention:

While the BWM Convention is not fully implemented, countries such as the USA, Australia, Ukraine and Brazil already have similar requirements for ships to exchange ballast by either the flow through, sequential or dilution method.

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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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