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What Role can Satellite AIS Play in Ballast Water Exchange?

Posted by Peggy Browning on Nov 23, 2011 3:00:00 PM

The inadvertent transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in a vessel’s ballast water has been determined to have caused a significant adverse impact to many of the world’s coastal regions. The international maritime community, with the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed several new regulations to help prevent the introduction of unwanted organisms. These new regulations state that vessels are required to exchange their ballast in the open ocean (1000m deep). However this rule may result in vessels burning extra fuel and time if the transit area does not normally require open ocean passage such as from the US East Coast into the Great lakes. Competent maritime authorities currently have a very limited capability to monitor vessel’s compliance to this rule.

This is where Satellite AIS can play an important role in determining whether a ship made the required deviation in course to exchange ballast water in the proper zone.  Without satellite AIS, authorities must rely on aircraft routine patrols etc. for periodic checks, while satellite AIS provides a track with time, position, heading and speed.  Providing the vessel’s track and not just its current position on the map allows for the level of analysis required in this investigation.

exactAIS® offers a new capability to monitor and catch vessels that illegally report false locations for ballast water exchange. exactAIS®tracking provides historic data so authorities can view a vessel’s track over a set length of time. The exactAIS® track can then be overlaid on a vessel’s recorded track to verify its position and movements. Plotting each point with a date and timestamp, exactAIS®tracking guarantees accuracy to pinpoint vessels at the time of any discrepancy.

Ballast Water Exchange

exactAIS® track of a vessel compared to its reported track shows the vessel did not make the required course change to exchange its ballast water

Topics: Satellite AIS, Ballast Water Exchange, Illegal Reporting

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