Montreal-based Fednav, Canada’s largest global shipowner, is the first to move forward with fitting 12 of its new ships with filtration equipment that will clean ballast water before its release into the Great Lakes. Filtration will help prevent organisms from other parts of the world that have travelled in a ship’s ballast water from being released into the lakes and causing problems for our native species and their habitat.
Regulations to this effect are expected to come into force in May 2016, but there is consternation among Canadian shipowners because Canada signed the related agreement with the International Maritime Organization, while the U.S. did not. As a result, ships travelling in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway will be subject to a confusing mix of rules with potentially different filtration requirements. Fednav has chosen to lead by example.