Guide to Canada’s Ballast Water Regulations – TP 13617E (2019)

This guide has been created to provide information on the Designated Areas to Exchange and Canadian freshwater ports referred to in the proposed new Ballast Water Regulations which will be published in Canada Gazette 1 in June 2019.

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Preface

This guide

This guide has been created to provide information on the Designated Areas to Exchange and Canadian freshwater ports referred to in the proposed new Ballast Water Regulations which will be published in Canada Gazette 1 in June 2019.

The new regulations

The Regulations are being changed to protect Canadian waters from non-native species and bacteria. When a new organism arrives in an ecosystem, they can create damage that can’t be undone. Sometimes these organisms arrive in Canada through ballast water, and damage our marine ecosystems and economy.

The proposed new Ballast Water Regulations have been created to keep vessels safe while reducing the chances that more non-native species will arrive in Canada through ballast water. This guide is a companion document to the proposed new Regulations. Existing statutory or regulatory requirements must be followed, and overrule any contradictory information included in this guide.

History of ballast water regulations

In 1982, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans created Canada’s first ballast water restrictions to reduce the threat of toxic phytoplankton on local mussel farms. For more information about the discharge requirements for the Iles-de-la-Madeleine archipelago, please see Canadian Sailing Direction, ATL 108 - “Gulf of St. Lawrence (Southwest Portion)”.

The first voluntary rules for ballast water exchange were created in 1989, and there have been many updates since:

  • In 1991, ballast exchange guidelines were created by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – and were updated in 1997 as resolution A.868(20), Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water to Minimize the Transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens;
  • In 1993 the U.S. Coast Guard created rules that required ballast exchange for vessels traveling within the Great Lakes Basin. These changed in 2004 to make reporting mandatory, and again in 2005 to make ballast water management mandatory in all U.S. waters;
  • In 2000 the Canadian guidelines were expanded to cover all Canadian waters and renamed to the Guidelines for the Control of Ballast Water Discharge from Ships in Waters under Canadian Jurisdiction;
  • In 2002 the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, updated their shared Practices and Procedures, to make following best practices a requirement for travelling through the Seaway system;
  • In 2004 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) finalized the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 – this agreement created a standard for ballast water treatment and called for the eventual phasing out of ballast water exchanges;
  • In 2006, Canada’s Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations are changed to reflect current U.S. and international rules, including the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004;
  • In 2010 Canada endorses the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004;
  • In 2011 and 2017 administrative changes were made to the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations;
  • In 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard creates a ballast discharge standard for U.S. waters and an approval process for ballast water management systems;
  • In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue a general permit to regulate discharges from commercial vessels, including ballast water, to protect the U.S. waters from ship-made pollutants and reduce invasive species in U.S. waters;
  • In 2017, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 came into force;
  • In 2019, the proposed new Ballast Water Regulations, will help Canada meet our obligations under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. The regulations will also help protect Canadian waters from invasive species and will be published in June 2019 in Canada Gazette 1. To support the proposed changes to the Regulation, the Canadian guidelines were updated and renamed “A Guide to Canada’s Ballast Water Regulations”.

Part 1 – Where to Exchange Your Ballast Water

According to the Regulations, if your vessel enters Canadian waters from somewhere other than the U.S. section of the Great Lakes Basin, you must exchange your ballast water in one of the areas listed in this guide.

Bring your vessel to a port, offshore terminal or anchorage area:

  • in the Great Lakes Basin, St. Lawrence River or Gulf of St. Lawrence, between December 1 and May 1, in the Laurentian Channel east of 63° west longitude where the water is at least 300 meters deep.
  • on the east coast of Canada, in an area south of 43°30' north latitude where the water is at least 1,000 meters deep.
  • on the west coast of Canada, at least 50 nautical miles west of Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, and at least 50 nautical miles west of a line running from Cape Scott to Cape St. James, where the water is at least 500 meters deep, except for waters within 50 nautical miles of the Bowie Seamount (53°18' north latitude and 135°40' west longitude).
  • in Hudson Bay, in the Hudson Strait east of 70° west longitude where the water is at least 300 meters deep.
  • in the High Arctic, in Lancaster Sound east of 80° west longitude where the water is at least 300 meters deep.

If your vessel is travelling one these areas, you must also exchange your ballast water:

  • to or from Nova Scotia following a shelf break, in an area West of Sable Island and the Gully, and away from the entrance to the Northeast Channel where the water is at least 1,000 meters deep.
  • using a coastal route on the Scotian Shelf to cross the Gulf of Maine, where the water is at least 100 meters deep.
  • to or from the Bay of Fundy, in an area in the Gulf of Maine where the water is at least 100 meters deep.

Figure 1 shows the alternate exchange zone for vessels making transoceanic trips to east coast ports, and for vessels making non-transoceanic trips along the east coast of North America.

A transoceanic trip refers to a vessel that exchanges ballast water and during its voyage travels more than 200 nautical miles from shore where the water is at least 2,000 meters deep.

A non-transoceanic trip refers a vessel that exchanges ballast water and during its voyage does not travel more than 200 nautical miles from shore where the water is at least 2,000 meters deep.

Ballast water exchange zones on the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of Maine.

Figure 1. Ballast water exchange zones on the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of Maine.

The pink zone shows traffic to/from the Bay of Fundy should exchange in the Gulf of Maine, where the water is at least 100 meters deep.

The yellow zone shows that traffic crossing the Gulf of Maine and using a coastal route on the Scotian Shelf should exchange in the Gulf of Maine, where the water is at least 100 meters deep.

The green zone shows traffic heading to/from Nova Scotia, and vessels following a shelf break path should exchange west of Sable Island and the Gully, and away from the entrance to North East Channel, in water that is at least 1,000 meters deep.

Please note that the yellow and pink zones aren‘t geographical boundaries, but are included to show the areas related to ballast water exchange in the Gulf of Maine where the water is at least 100 meters deep. If you’re travelling through these waters, make sure that exchanges happen where the water is at least 100 meters deep.

Yellow Zone – Traffic crossing the Gulf of Maine

Latitude North

Longitude West

Remarks

42.70

070.10

To

42.20

070.00

To

42.70

066.40

To

43.10

066.45

To

42.70

070.10

Magenta Zone – Traffic to/from the Bay of Fundy

Latitude North

Longitude West

Remarks

41.55

069.25

To

41.30

068.80

To

44.10

066.90

To

44.30

067.50

To

41.55

069.25

Green Zone – Traffic heading to/from Nova Scotia

Latitude North

Longitude West

Remarks

43.00

060.00

To

43.40

060.25

Following along the 1,000 m line to

42.75

062.90

To

41.25

066.00

Following along the 1,000 m line to

39.90

069.25

To

39.38

068.75

To

43.00

060.00

Part 2 – List of Canadian Freshwater Ports

Until September 8, 2024, a vessel can‘t discharge ballast water in any of the Canadian freshwater ports listed below unless the ballast water is exchanged:

  1. using the sequential methods, in the areas listed in regulation B-4 of the Annex; or
  2. in any other case, on the high seas.

Exceptions can be made to these requirements. Please refer to the Regulations for more information.

These are the Canadian freshwater ports affected by this part of the Regulations:

  • Port of Kitimat
  • Port of Stewart
  • Ports on the Fraser River
  • Ports on the Saguenay River
  • Ports on the St. Lawrence River, upstream of Ile d’Orléans
  • Ports in the Great Lakes Basin
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