Of the estimated 100,000 ships entering U.S. ports from foreign waters each year, only 30 percent reported their ballast water management practices during the first two years that the U.S. Coast Guard mandated them to under the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA). The finding has prompted the Secretary of Transportation to recommend, in a report to Congress, that future noncompliance carry a penalty. The recommendations stemmed from the first biennial report of the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse, a collaborative effort of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the U.S. Coast Guard, managed and operated by SERC since 1997. The National Ballast Information Clearinghouse data and biennial report are now publicly accessible at http://invasions.si.edu/whats.htm.
The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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