The Government of Canada responded to Water Canada’s inquiry about its current position on the matter, stating:

“The Government of Canada supports effective ballast water management standards to reduce the risk of introducing invasive species. Canada’s Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations were established in 2006 and require that international ships manage their ballast water. Four management methods are permitted: ballast water exchange, treatment using a ballast water management system (BWMS), transfer to a reception facility or retention on board the ship.“

“In 2010, Canada signed on to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004, which will further reduce the risk of aquatic species invasions compared to Canada’s current regulations. After it enters into force, this Convention will require ships to comply with a standard limiting the number of viable organisms that can be discharged in ballast water. As it will not be possible to use ballast water exchange to meet this standard, most ships are expected to use BWMS in order to comply.”

“The function of BWMS is to reduce the number of viable organisms in ballast water, preventing species invasions when ballast water is moved between locations. While many BWMS are designed to kill or remove aquatic organisms, some ultra-violet light-based systems are designed to remove or cause irreparable genetic damage to organisms, preventing them from becoming established in new locations by eliminating their ability to reproduce. An organism that cannot reproduce will not be able to establish itself in a new location and will not be able to trigger a species invasion. Canada supports the type-approval of BWMS that make use of UV light as one of a suite of processes appropriate for the treatment of ballast water.”

“The [MPN] Serial Dilution Culture-Most Probable Number method (SDC-MPN) has been used to measure viability by determining if organisms are capable of reproduction. This method can be used in the assessment of any BWMS to measure there productive capability of organisms remaining after treatment. Canada supports the use of the SDC-MPN method as one of a suite of methods appropriate for assessing BWMS.”

“Canada is calling for U.S. legislators and U.S. federal and state administrations to maximize compatibility between the implementation of U.S. requirements and the Convention. Transport Canada officials also work closely with their counterparts at the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency towards this goal. These discussions occur bilaterally under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, as well as multilaterally through the International Maritime Organization.”