Pacific Ballast Water Group

Mission | Overview | Meetings | Workshops/Other Meetings | News | Contacts |
Ballast Water/Biofouling Documents | Links | VIDA (2018)




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).”  


The next meeting of the Pacific Ballast Water Group (PBWG) was scheduled for April 15-16, 2020 (Wednesday/Thursday) at Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Airport. This meeting has been postponed.

Past PBWG Meetings

April 2-3, 2019April 11-12, 2018April 12-13, 2017 | March 29-30, 2016 | April 15-16, 2015 

April 2-3, 2019


April 11-12, 2018


April 12-13, 2017


March 29-30, 2016



April 15-16, 2015




Workshops and Other Meetings


Testing of Ballast Water Treatment Systems Workshop, June 14-15, 2005
Workshop Report on Testing of Ballast Water Treatment Systems: General Guidelines and Step-wise Strategy Toward Shipboard Testing (June 2006)


Alternative Ballast Water Exchange Areas Meeting, June 20-22, 2006


Proceedings – Workshop on Alternate Ballast Water Exchange Areas: Physical and Biological Oceanographic ConsiderationsBallast Water Exchange Zone Publications:


Meeting Presentations (PowerPoint):


2019 | 20182017 2014 | 

News from 2005-2013 is archived here.



New NBIC Ballast Water Management Reporting Form released (8/9/20)

Final. Rule: Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces— Phase II Batch Two (7/17/20)

US to investigate Canada's 'unfavourable' new Great Lakes shipping rules (6/17/20)



Assessment of recreational boating as a vector for marine non-indigenous species on the Atlantic coast of Canada (Pelletier-Rousseau et al. 2019)

Applicability of a cell proliferation assay to examine DNA concentration of UV- and chlorine-treated organisms (Molina et al. 2019)


The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - Immediate Implications of the New Law (2018)

GloFouling Partnerships: A new collaboration between the GEF, UNDP and IMO to address bioinvasions through ships' hulls and other marine structures (2018)

IMO infographic "Complying with the Ballast Water Management Convention" (October 2018)

The 2013 EPA VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date (October 2018)

USCG is eliminating the requirement for certain vessels that operate exclusively within a single COTP (September 2018)


IMO Releases Ballast Water Management Video (September 2017)

New IMO global project to address bioinvasions via ships’ hulls (August 2017)


Serious Ballast Water Management Convention problems still need to be resolved by IMO (April 2014)

MEPC Still Divided on Ballast Water Issues (April 2014)

V.Group project director highlights failings in ballast water tech (April 2014)

Concerns as IMO pushes ballast water convention ratification (April 2014)

Battle over ballast water (April 2014)

Concerns with IMO Ballast Water Convention Can Be Addressed by IMO MEPC Resolution, Suggests ICS (March 2014)

The Evolving Ballast Water Conundrum (March 2014)


Tammy Davis

Invasive Species Program, Project Leader

Box 25526

Juneau, AK 99802-5526

(907) 465-6183


Rian C. Hooff

Ballast Water Program Manager

OR Dept. Environmental Quality

811 SW 6th Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97204

Ph: (503) 229-6865

Fax: (503) 229-6954


Allen Pleus

WDFW, ANS Coordinator

600 Capitol Way N.

Olympia, WA 98501-1091

(360) 902-2724


Dr. Richard Everett

Environmental Standards Division (G-PSO-4)

US Coast Guard Headquarters

2100 2nd St. SW

Washington DC 20359

(202) 372-1436


Nicole Dobroski

Environmental Program Manager

Marine Invasive Species Program

California State Lands Commission

100 Howe Ave, Suite 100 South

Sacramento, CA 95825

Ph: (916) 574-0742

Fax: (916) 574-1950


Bonnie Antcliffe, Manager

Director of Resource Management Program Delivery

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

200 – 401 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6C 3S4

(604) 666-6931

Ballast Water/Biofouling Documents


Protocol for the Verification of Ballast Water Compliance Monitoring Devices (Tamburri et al. 2020)


Integrated pest management for fouling organisms on boat hulls (Culver et al. 2019)

Environmental DNA Metabarcoding: A promising tool for ballast water monitoring (Rey et al. 2019)

Vessel In-Water Cleaning or Treatment: Identification of Environmental Risks and Science Needs for Evidence-Based Decision Making (Scianni and Georgiades 2019)

Genomic and microscopic analysis of ballast water in the Great Lakes region (Wright et al. 2019)

Global forecasts of shipping traffic and biological invasions to 2050 (Sardain et al. 2019)

Metabarcoding and machine learning analysis of environmental DNA in ballast water arriving to hub ports (Gerhard and Gunsch 2019)

ICES VIEWPOINT: Biofouling on vessels – what is the risk, and what might be done about it? (ICES 2019)

ICES Viewpoint background document: Evaluating and mitigating introduction of marine non-native species via vessel biofouling (ICES 2019)


Common hull fouling invasive species (IMO 2018)

Biotic exchange from movement of ‘static’ maritime structures (Iacarella et al. 2018)

2018 Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability, and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Technologies for Use in California Waters (California State Lands Commission 2018)

High diversity and potential translocation of DNS viruses in ballast water (Hwang et al. 2018)

Ballast water exchange and invasion risk posed by intra-coastal vessel traffic: An evaluation using high throughput sequencing (Darling et al. 2018)

​Feasibility Study of Shore-Based Ballast Water Reception and Treatment Facilities in California (Glosten 2018)

Vessel Incidental Discharge Legislation in the 115th Congress: Background and Issues (Congressional Research Service 7-5700, 2018)



Biofouling in the U.S. Pacific States and British Columbia (Scianni, Falkner and DeBruyckere 2017)

Report to the Legislature on Non-Copper Antifouling Paints for Recreational Vehicles in Washington (Washington Department of Ecology December 2017)

Guidance Document for: Biofouling Management Regulations to Minimize the Transfer of Nonindigenous Species from Vessels Arriving at California Ports (California State Lands Commission 9/19/17)

Best Practices for Operation of Ballast Water Management Systems (Identified during ABS 2nd BWMS Workshop, Houston ABS 2017)

New Zealand Biofouling Management

Ballast Water Treatment Systems at a Glance (Hellenic Shipping News 7/22/2017)

Application of flow cytometry in ballast water analysis—biological aspects (Hoell et al. 2017)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Six-Year Strategic Plan, Ballast Water Management, Document No. 16050.01, 2017. Prepared for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by Glosten (Moore et al. 2017).



Mini-review: Assessing the drivers of ship biofouling management – aligning industry and biosecurity goals (Davidson et al. 2016)

Intertanko guide to modern antifouling systems and biofouling management (Intertanko 2016)

Volume and contents of residual water in recreational watercraft ballast systems (Campbell et al. 2016)

An assessment of the efficacy of chemical descalers for managing non-indigenous marine species within vessel internal seawater systems and niche areas (Bracken et al. 2016)



Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water (IMO 2015)

Ballast-borne marine invasive species: Exploring the risk to coastal Alaska, USA (Verna et al. 2015)

Failure of the public health testing program for ballast water treatment systems (Cohen and Dobbs 2015)

Hydroxide stabilization as a new tool for ballast disinfection: efficacy of treatment on zooplankton (Moffitt et al. 2015)

Effectiveness of Ballast Water Exchange in Protecting Puget Sound from Invasive Species (Cordell et al. 2015)

High colonization and propagule pressure by ship ballast as a vector for the diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia (Kaczmarska and Ehrman 2015)

Biennial Report on the California Marine Invasive Species Program (CSLC 2015)

A vector analysis of marine ornamental species in California (Williams et al. 2015)

Vessel biofouling prevention and management options report (USCG, SERC 2015)

Workgroup to Evaluate Actions that Reduce the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species from Vessels Placed in Lakes that are Owned or Managed by the State (December 2015)



Ballast Responder: Emergency and Contingency Measures for Ballast Water Treatment (The Glosten Associates 2014)

Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability, and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Technologies for Use in California Waters (California State Lands Commission 2014)

Marine Invasive Species in the Arctic (Norden 2014)

Science underpinning the thresholds proposed in the CRMS: Biofouling on vessels arriving to New Zealand (Georgiades and Kluza 2014)

Vessel generator noise as a settlement cue for marine biofouling species (McDonald et al. 2014)

Transient small boats as a long-distance coastal vector for dispersal of biofouling organisms (Ashton et al. 2014)

Summary of IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee 66th session


Marine biofouling on recreational boats on swing moorings and berths (Brine et al. 2013)

Managing the Domestic Spread of Harmful Marine Organisms Part A  Operational tools for Management (Prepared for Preparedness & Partnerships Directorate, Ministry for Primary Industries [New Zealand] 2013)

Managing The Domestic Spread Of Harmful Marine Organisms, Part B: Statutory Framework And Analysis Of Options (New Zealand) (Sinner et al. 2013)

Developing a Comprehensive Long-Term Research Strategy to Support Determination of Protective Ballast Water Discharge Standards (EPA 2013)

2013 Final Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels (EPA)

Comparison of California’s Marine Invasive Species Program and the United States Federal Programs that Manage Vessels as Vectors of Nonindigenous Species (CASLC 2013)

USCG Environmental Standards — U.S. Great Lakes Engineering and Cost Study (2013)

Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability, and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Systems for Use in California Waters (CASLC 2013)

National Wildlife Federation v. Environmental Protection Agency (2013)

Clean Water Act: EPA Issues New Vessel General Permit With Numeric Limits for Ballast Water Discharges (2013)



Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species (CRS 2012)

Exploring the Limits of Dissolved Organic Matter Fluorescence for Determining Seawater Sources and Ballast Water Exchange on the US Pacific Coast (Murphy et al. 2012)

Ratification by USA — International Convention On The Control Of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems On Ships (August 2012)

Discussion Paper: Canadian Implementation of the Ballast Water Convention (Transport Canada 2012)

Response Protocols for Biofouled Debris and Invasive Species Generated by the 2011 Japan Tsunami

Crossing Boundaries: Managing Invasive Species and Water Quality Risks for Coastal Boat Hulls in California and Baja California (Johnson et al. 2012)

Integrated Pest Management for Hull Fouling in Southern California Coastal Marinas (Culver and Johnson 2012)

INTERTANKO Ballast Water Management for Tankers (downloadable product, for purchase, 2012)

Interim Guidance for Acceptance of Alternate Management Systems, Independent Laboratories, and Type Approval of BWM Systems (13 April 2012, USCG)

USCG Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters (March 23, 2012)

Emergency Response Guidance for Handling Ballast Water to Control Aquatic Invasive Species (The Glosten Associates 2012)

Mixing Biocides into Ship’s Ballast Water—Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Field Trials (The Glosten Associates 2012)

Inventory of Available Controls for ANS of Concern - Chicago Area Waterway System (GLMRIS 2012)



Invasive Aquatic Species – A Proposed Alternative Solution (Hull Fouling) (Hydrex 2011)

Ballast Discharge Monitoring System for Great Lakes Relevant Ships: A Guidebook (GSI, 2011)

Economic Assessments for Ballast Water Management: A Guideline (GloBallast 2011)

Efficacy of Ballast Water Treatment Systems: a Report by the EPA Science Advisory Board (July 2011)

Assessing the Relationship Between Propagule Pressure and Invasion Risk in Ballast Water (NRC 2011)

Ballast Water Management in the Great Lakes Reduces the Introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species: Fisheries and Oceans Canada Study (June 2011)

SAB Draft Report dated March 3, 2011 for EPEC Ballast Water Review (EPA Science Advisory Board 2011)

Evaluating Efficacy of an Environmental Policy to Prevent Biological Invasions (Bailey et al. 2011)

Enumerating Sparse Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water: Why Counting to 10 Is Not So Easy (Miller et al. 2011)

Hull Fouling:Characterizing Magnitude and Risk of Species Transfers byRecreational and Fishing Vessels (Zabin et al. 2011)



Emergency Response Guide for Handling Ballast Water to Control Non-Indigenous Species (Reynolds et al. 2010)

Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species Position Statement on a National Ballast Water Discharge Standard (2010)

Performance Standards for the Discharge of Ballast Water for Vessels Operating in California Waters (2010)

Availability and Efficacy of Ballast Water Treatment Technology: Background and Issue Paper (Albert et al. 2010)

Density Matters: Review of Approaches to Setting Organism-Based Ballast Water Discharge Standards (Lee, Reusser, Frazier and Ruiz, 2010)

2010 Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability, and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Systems for Use in California Waters (CSLC, AUGUST 2010)



Intra-coastal ballast water flux and the potential for secondary spread of non-native species on the US West Coast (Simkanin et al. 2009

Silent Invasion – The Spread of Marine Invasive Species Via Ships’ Ballast Water (WWF 2009)

2009 Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group Report

IMO: List of Ballast Water Management Systems that Make Use of Active Substances That Received Basic and Final Approvals (2009)

Summary of West Coast Ballast Water Regulations (Pleus, WDFW, April 2009)



California Ballast Water Treatment Technology Testing Guidelines (2008)

Guidelines on Marine Biofouling and Invasive Species (GISP 2008)

Managing Aquatic Invasive Species Risks from Shipping Transport Pathways (State of Oregon 2008)

EPA Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels (2008)

Regulating Ballast Water Discharges: Current Legislative Issues (CRS 2008)



Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species (CRS 2007)

Managing Hull-Borne Invasive Species and Coastal Water Quality for California and Baja California Boats Kept in Saltwater (Johnson et al.  2007)

Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Systems for Use in California Waters (CASLC, December 2007)



Managing Hull-Borne Invasive Species and Coastal Water Quality for California and Baja California Boats Kept in Saltwater (Johnson et al. 2006)

Issue paper: Ballast Water Issue Paper (Management Technologies Shore Based Treatment, Hull Fouling and NOBOBs, Regulations, Legislation) (Phillips 2006) 

Proceedings: ABWEA_Final_Workshop on Alternate Ballast Water Exchange Areas: Physical and Biological Oceanographic Considerations (June 20-22, 2006)​



Managing Hull Transport of Aquatic Invasive Species: Proceedings of May 11, 2005 Workshop in San Francisco, California (Gonzalez and  Johnson, Editors, 2005)

Progress and Challenges in Preventing Introduction into U.S. Waters Via the Ballast Water in Ships (GAO 2005)

Ballast Water Exchange: Efficacy of Treating Ships’ Ballast Water to Reduce Marine Species Transfers and Invasion Success? (Ruiz et al. 2005)

Workshop Report on Testing of Ballast Water Treatment Systems: General Guidelines and Step-wise Strategy Toward Shipboard Testing (June 14-16 2005, Portland, Oregon)



Report: Workshop Report on Testing of Ballast Water Treatment Systems: General Guidelines and Step-wise Strategy Toward Shipboard Testing (June 14-16 2005, Portland, Oregon)



Ecological and Oceanographic Criteria for Alternate Ballast Water Exchange Zones in the Pacific Region (Levings and Forman 2004)



An Analysis of the Oregon Coastal Exchange Requirement (Vinograd 2003)

International Ballast Water Treatment R&D Symposium, IMO London 26-27 March 2001: Symposium Proceedings ( Raaymakers  (Ed.) 2003)



Ballast Water and Shipping Patterns in Puget Sound: Considerations for Siting of Alternative Ballast Water Exchange Zones (PSWQAT 2000)

Biological Invasions of Cold-Water Coastal Ecosystems: Ballast-mediated Introductions in Port Valdez/Prince William Sound, AK (SERC 2000)


Nonindigenous Aquatic Species in United States Estuary: A Case Study of the Biological Invasions of the San Francisco Bay and Delta (Cohen and Carlton 1995)

Vessel Incident Discharge Act (VIDA) of 2018

EPA will provide any future updates on VIDA, outreach, VGP technical assistance, etc. at this website.

On December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, which includes as Title IX [see page 131] the Vessel Incident Discharge Act of 2018 (“VIDA”).


EPA: Pending EO 12866 Regulatory Review of “Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance”  (07/02/20)

VIDA State Authorities (EPA, USCG July 2019)

VIDA Federalism Consultation Table (EPA, USCG July 2019)

USCG Update: Vessel Incident Discharge Act (February 2019)

BWM reform - Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018 (Bryant 2019) 

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife VIDA Summary Presentation (Pleus 2019)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife VIDA Implementation Summary (WDFW 2019)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife VIDA History (WDFW 2019)

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - Vessels - VGP (EPA December 2018)

© 2020 Aquatic Invasive Species Network. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. All rights reserved.