Pacific Ballast Water Group (PBWG)

Ballast News



The mission of the Pacific Ballast Water Group (PBWG) is to promote development and implementation of safe, economical, effective management of aquatic nuisance species associated with West Coast shipping.


The PBWG was formed in 1998 following a series of informal meetings of West Coast state/provincial and federal agency and shipping industry representatives from the US and Canada concerned about the introduction of aquatic nuisance species through ballast water discharge. The PBWG serves as a coordinating body to share information and formulate consensus solutions on ballast water management and research issues of common concern to regulators, managers, scientists and the shipping industry on the West Coast (Canada, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska). Beginning in 2002, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) began to serve as the administrative entity and provide staff support to the PBWG. Randy Fisher, Executive Director of the PSMFC, currently serves as chair of the PBWG.

The PBWG has also been coordinating its activities with the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health ( The agreement’s Action Plan, completed in 2008, identified the need to prevent the future establishment of non-native species by reducing pathways of introduction, including release from ballast water. The Action Plan also identifies the PBWG as a forum for states to coordinate their ballast water policies.


The PBWG meets annually. The PBWG also sponsors periodic technical workshops on issues of mutual concern to the region including, “Testing of Ballast Water Treatment Systems: General Guidelines and Step-wise Strategy Toward Shipboard Testing (2005)”, and “Alternate Ballast Water Exchange Areas: Physical And Biological Oceanographic Considerations (2006).”  Agendas, presentations and reports from past meetings can be found under the “Past Meetings” tab on this page. Future PBWG meetings and workshops are posted under the “Future Meeting” tab.


For further information contact the PBWG coordinator, Stephen Phillips,

Ballast water brings unwanted species