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Virtual Museum of Canada

Maritime Transport and Invasive Species

To maintain their stability, ships are fitted with ballast tanks that hold water. These tanks are filled or emptied depending on how much cargo the ship is carrying. Ballast water is discharged at the port when a ship is loaded. Since the 20th century, numerous exotic species have been introduced into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence ecosystem via ballast water from ocean-going ships. These species can become invasive, destroying habitats and threatening native species.

Find out what measures the maritime industry is adopting to combat the introduction of invasive species while maintaining ship stability and safety.