The Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa for the International maritime Organisation (IMO), Michael A. Luguje has stressed the need for a major sensitisation of Ballast Water management as a way of ensuring the safety of marine spice.
Mr. Luguje said when the sensitisations is created, the IMO will be willing to build the capacity of other member states through training and other means.
He said that IMO is seriously looking forward to sharing information and noted that Liberia would create a national task force in this regard.
The IMO Official spoke Tuesday at the beginning of a one-day creating Awareness on Ballast Water management workshop organised by the Liberia Maritime Authority in Monrovia.
The IMO regional Coordinator lauded Liberia for being among 27 countries that have ratified the convention on Ballast Water Management saying, “It is thirty countries that should ratify the convention and it is expected that the balance three will ratify same soon”.
According to him, member countries of the IMO are expected to incorporate the ratified convention into their respective laws by means of legislation as well as strengthening regional cooperation to seriously sensitize stakeholders on Ballast Water management.
He said the IMO is also willing to give assistance to the West African sub-region as long as it knows the type of Ballast water in the region. The Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), Mr. Beyan Kesselly, said as Liberia moves towards a Maritime Nation, it is important that various international conventions be adhered to and stressed the urgent need to regulate Ballast water and encourage inter-agency collaboration and training.
The one-day workshop brought together experts from Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia, with the participants being drawn from the National Port Authority, the Liberia refining Company, the Liberia Maritime Authority Port users, the Bureau of National fisheries among others.
Ballast Water is water moved from one country to another by a vessel as a means of keeping its balance when there are no cargoes on board to keep the required balance.