6.1Preliminary list of NIS/CS target species for the LME 23 (Baltic Sea) 14
6.2Port-to-port comparisons 19
6.2.1Setting the scene 19
6.2.2Within the Baltic Sea LME 20
6.2.3Between the Baltic and Celtic seas LME’s 22
7Other elements of the proposed system 31
7.1Information system 31
7.3Review process 34
7.4Administrative decision 34
8Weighing the risk 35
The purpose of this document is to contribute to the control of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens into the Baltic Sea. The document defines the criteria for granting exemptions for ballast water management in accordance with the Regulation A-4 Exemptions of the International convention for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments (BWMC; IMO 2004). The BWMC Regulation A-4 indicates that those exemptions can only be granted when they are:
“granted to a ship or ships on a voyage or voyages between specified ports or locations; or to a ship which operates exclusively between specified ports or locations;
effective for a period of no more than five years subject to intermediate review;
granted to ships that do not mix Ballast Water or Sediments other than between the ports or locations specified in paragraph 1.1.”.
The 48th meeting of the Heads of Delegation endorsed the revisions of the HELCOM-OSPAR Joint Harmonized Procedure for BWMC A-4 exemptions (JHP) as included in the document 3-19 of the meeting (paragraphs 3.84, Outcome of HOD 48-2015; HELCOM 2015a). According to the outcome (point 3.90) of the meeting “The Meeting welcomed the offer by Lithuania and Estonia to contribute to the next round of HELCOM-OSPAR JHP revisions with new proposals regarding BWMC A-4 Risk assessment Target Species criteria and the Baltic Sea Target Species list” (HELCOM 2015a), Lithuania and Estonia were asked to provide a contribution to the Target Species criteria which adresses major concerns of these two countries on the previously proposed document (HELCOM 2015b). For this purpose, a one-week meeting (3-7. August 2015) was convened in Pärnu (Estonia) with attendance of Sergej Olenin (Klaipeda University, Lithuania), Dan Minchin (Klaipeda University, Lithuania and Marine Organism Investigations, Ireland) and Henn Ojaveer (Tartu University, Estonia), all having 20+ years of experience and competence in the field of marine bioinvasions. Prior to the meeting, several underlying key publications were consulted. These included, amongst others global maritime shipping and ballast water management issues (David and Gollasch 2015), life in ballast tanks (Gollasch et al. 2002), IMO Risk Assessment Guidelines (IMO 2007), guidance on port biological baseline surveys (GloBallast 2014), needs and requirements for marine non-indigenous species monitoring (Olenin et al. 2011; Lehtiniemi et al. 2015), biopollution assessment and classification of non-indigenous species based on impacts (Olenin et al. 2007; Ojaveer et al. 2015), impacts of non-indigenous species in the Baltic Sea (Zaiko et al. 2011; Ojaveer and Kotta 2015) and risk assessment for exemptions for ballast water management in the Baltic Sea (David et al. 2013).
The following key principles, referred to by IMO (2007), were adhered to in the development of the proposed target species criteria:
Effectiveness - That risk assessments accurately measures the risks to the extent necessary to achieve an appropriate level of protection.
Transparency – That the reasoning and evidence supporting the action recommended by risk assessments, and areas of uncertainty (and their possible consequences to those recommendations), are clearly documented and made available to decision-makers.
Consistency – That risk assessments achieve a uniform high level of performance, using a common process and methodology.
Comprehensiveness – That the full range of values, including economic, environmental, social and cultural, are considered when assessing risks and making recommendations.
Risk Management – Although low risk scenarios may exist, a zero risk is not obtainable, and as such risk should be managed by determining the acceptable level of risk in each instance.
Precautionary – That risk assessments incorporate a level of precaution when making assumptions, and making recommendations, to account for uncertainty, unreliability, and inadequacy of information. The absence of, or uncertainty in, any information should therefore be considered an indicator of potential risk.
Science based – That risk assessments are based on the best available information that has been collected and analysed using scientific methods.
Continuous improvement – Any risk model should be periodically reviewed and updated to account for improved understanding.
Disclaimer: the particular process produced here is for general use under consequences derived from the output of the system as a responsibility of those that use the process for implementation of BWMC exemptions. Best scientific expert knowledge available at the time of writing was consulted.