Detection of UV-treatment effects on plankton by rapid analytic tools for ballast water compliance monitoring immediately following treatment
Abstract Non-indigenous species seriously threaten native biodiversity. To reduce establishments, the International Maritime Organization established the Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments which limits organism concentrations at discharge under regulation D-2. Most ships will comply by using on-board treatment systems to disinfect their ballast water. Port state control officers will need simple, rapid methods to detect compliance. Appropriate monitoring methods may be dependent on treatment type, since different treatments will affect organisms by a variety of mechanisms. Many indicative tools have been developed, but must be examined to ensure the measured variable is an appropriate signal for the response of the organisms to the applied treatment. We assessed the abilities of multiple analytic tools to rapidly detect the effects of a ballast water treatment system based on UV disinfection. All devices detected a large decrease in the concentrations of vital organisms ≥ 50 μm and < 10 μm organisms (mean 82.7–99.7% decrease across devices), but results were more variable for the ≥ 10 to < 50 μm size class (mean 9.0–99.9% decrease across devices). Results confirm the necessity to choose tools capable of detecting the damage inflicted on living organisms, as examined herein for UV-C treatment systems.