Abstract

 The transfer of ballast by the international shipping industry has negatively impacted the environment. To design such a protocol for the area, the ballast water tanks of seven bulk cargo vessels entering a Jamaican port were sampled between January 28, 2010 and August 17, 2010. Vessels originated from five ports and used three main routes, some of which conducted ballast water exchange. Twenty-six preserved and 22 live replicate zooplankton samples were obtained. Abundance and richness were higher than at temperate ports. Exchange did not alter the biotic composition but reduced the abundance. Two of the live sample replicates, containing 31.67 and 16.75 viable individuals m-3, were non-compliant with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. Approximately 12% of the species identified in the ballast water were present in the waters nearest the port in 1995 and 11% were present in the entire bay in 2005. The protocol designed from this study can be used to aid the establishment of a ballast water management system in the Caribbean or used as a foundation for the development of further protocols. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 3): 249-257. Epub 2014 September 01.

 

Keywords: ballast water, zooplankton, protocol, Jamaica