According to Marin Menace, many cases of marine creatures invading ships have been reported. This is because more and more ships introduce non-native species to new environments. Luckily, we can minimize these issues with the use of Ballast Water Treatment Systems.
Below are some of the most common aliens found in ships. If you’ve encountered problems with these aliens, you might want to consider installing a Ballast Water Management System on your ship as soon as possible.
- Fishhook Water Flea
Fishhook water fleas are native to the Azov, Caspian, and Black Seas. However, their arrival to the fresh waters of the Great Lakes caused a huge damage to the local ecosystem. These creatures may seem harmless, but they can clog nets and swarm fishing lines. In addition, they can also cause algal blooms. Furthermore, there is no known way to eliminate them.
Wakame is a type of edible seaweed that can grow anywhere – even at the bottom of ships and boats. Today, these seaweed species are everywhere, especially now that ships’ ballast water have unintentionally spread them. Although they are beneficial for Japanese restaurants, they cause disruption in marine farming as they grow on ropes and cages.
- Dinoflagellates’ red tides
Dinoflagellates are types of microscopic algae that get easily transported to ballast water. During unusual blooms, they can turn sea water red. This event is what we call “red tide”. These microorganisms produce harmful toxins that kill fish. Other marine organisms such as shellfish accumulate toxins and can spread them to humans when eaten.
- Comb jellyfish
There was an infamous case of comb jellyfish invading ballast water tanks. This jellyfish species reportedly traveled from North America all the way to the Black Sea. This case of comb jellyfish invasion diminished the local fishery businesses in 1994. Since they have no natural enemies, they kept spreading to the Mediterranean Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Baltic Sea.
- Black-striped Mussels
In Northern Australia, authorities detected black-striped mussels early and eradicated them immediately. However, they have already caused damage. The invasion of black-striped mussels affected native marine species as they competed against them for food and territory. These mussel species also spread diseases and parasites in the local aquatic ecosystem.
- Japanese Starfish
In 1995, these aquatic species’ population has reached to about 30 million. These species are native to Russia, Northern China, Japan, Korea, and the North Pacific, but they have reportedly reached the Tasmanian seas via ballast water. They have been considered as voracious predators as they fed on crabs, shellfish, sea urchins, sea squirts, fish eggs, and more species. Plus, they go cannibalistic when they run out of food sources.
Whether these creatures cause harm or not, they definitely have to be kept out and away from your ship. To avoid problems with these creatures, secure your ship with an effective, efficient, and systematic Ballast Water Management System.