The International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Management of Ballast Water and Biofouling (MABB 2014) will be held 4th -7th March 2014 in India and is conceived to address these two specific but closely related issues by providing a meeting ground to discuss the latest trends by means of presentation of their current work. Dr. Klaas Kaag en Dr. Sanjeevi Rajagopal, IMARES Wageningen UR, are both member of the Technical Committee of this conference.
Researchers, users and policy makers in the respective area of Ballast Water Management (BWM), marine bioinvasion, biofilm and biofouling control have the opportunity to meet each other. The conference promises to shed quality insights leading to healthy debates on these topics, as well as to provide an excellent forum for new business ideas and professional development.
The spread of invasive species is one of the greatest threats to many ecosystems in the world. In the marine realm, most of the bioinvasions have been attributed to ballast water used to stabilize ocean-going vessels. Marine discharge of ballast water causes spread of viruses, bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and larvae of various species to new habitats.
The tremendous and continuing increase in the volume of seaborne trade has increased the threat to marine biodiversity and the effects in many areas of the world have been devastating. Considering the gravity of the impact of ballast water in spreading bioinvasion, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has initiated preventive measures to divest ballast water of all biological organisms that can potentially invade a new habitat and proliferate therein.
Cooling water system of coastal power plants, moored oceanographic instruments, ship hulls, aquaculture framework and similar such structures in the marine environment face a common operational problem - biofouling. Ship-borne fouling has also been known to contribute to bioinvasion. Biofouling is an impediment in all maritime activities that involve exposure of materials to seawater.