PRESIDENT SIGNS SEA GRANT REAUTHORIZATION ACT
On November 26, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 3389, the National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002, officially completing the reauthorization of the National Sea Grant College Program within the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the period between FY 2003 through 2008. The bill would authorize $60 million for FY 2003 increasing to $85 million by 2008. In addition to these amounts, the bill would authorize an additional $5 million for zebra mussels, $5 million for oyster disease, $5 million for algal blooms, and $3 million for fishery extension each year.
FOREIGN CARGO: SEA GRANT BALLAST WATER SPECIALIST CONFRONTS A WORLD OF
AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES
Thousands of species of marine life are currently being transported in ships' ballast tanks, according to Russell Herwig, Washington Sea Grant Programs new Marine Ballast Water Specialist. The seawater inside these tanks can contain a mini-menagerie of aquatic organisms: minute jellyfish, larval mussels and barnacles, marine worms, juvenile fish and even smaller bacteria and viruses.
When a ship docks at a Northwest port, it may dump this water, releasing the organisms into local bays and inlets. Herwig and others are exploring technologies to curb accidental introductions of unwanted organisms in ballast water. Currently being tested are ozone and ultra-violet disinfection equipment. "These technologies may be extremely costly to install, so only the larger, better funded shipping operations could consider them," says Herwig.
A less costly treatment involves using a biocide such as chlorine, glutaraldehyde (a chemical fixative used in electron microscopy) or other chemicals to kill the mini-menagerie inside ballast tanks. While such treatments could minimize or eliminate the problems inside the tank, they might cause other problems when Page: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Ben Sherman
National Sea Grant College Program
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