Scientists Map Global Routes of Ship-Borne Invasive Species

Studying the logs of more than 3 million ocean voyages, a team of German and British researchers have mapped likely transit patterns for marine invasive species, reports Matt McGrath for BBC News. “Marine species are taken in with ballast water on freighters and wreak havoc in new locations, driving natives to extinction,” he reports. “There has been a well-documented boom in global shipping over the past 20 years and this has led to growing numbers of species moving via ballast tanks, or by clinging to hulls.” The busiest ports with warm waters report new invasive species establishing in their waters every year. Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Panama and Suez canals were described as “hot spots.” The model accounts for traffic, routes, ship size, trip length, temperatures and biological characteristics. Treating ballast water could reduce the spread of invasive species, but the competitive shipping industry is expected to resist any regulations that would add to the cost. – YaleGloal

Scientists Map Global Routes of Ship-Borne Invasive Species

Scientists have developed a global model that analyzes the routes taken by marine invasive species via shipping
Matt McGrath
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Matt McGrath is environment correspondent for BBC News.
BBC © 2013

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