Exotic Policy

An IJC White Paper
On Policies for the Prevention of
The Invasion of the Great Lakes by Exotic Organisms

July 15, 1999
Eric Reeves

Appendix: Terms and Acronyms

anadromous Adj. Migrating up rivers from the sea to breed in fresh water.
ANS Aquatic nuisance species.
ANS Panel The Great Lakes regional federal, state, and tribal interagency committee, established under "NANPCA 90" to coordinate action on aquatic exotics, with the support of the Great Lakes Commission, a US interstate compact agency. Includes representatives of the eight US Great Lakes states, regional representatives of the same US federal agencies on the "ANS Task Force," Great Lakes tribes, Great Lakes environmental groups, and industry. Also includes observers from Canadian federal and provincial agencies (who are accorded a full role in actual deliberations). Web site at www.glc.org/.
ANS Task Force Also "ANSTF." The US federal interagency committee chaired by representatives of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with representation by the US Coast Guard, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, and others. Web site at www.anstaskforce.gov.
APHIS Agriculture Plant and Health Inspection Service, US Department of Agriculture. APHIS conducts inspections of ship cargoes for animal and plant pests, but does not inspect ballast water. Also has US federal responsibility for disease in aquaculture imports.
AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Lead federal agency, for Australia, on ballast water control.
ballast water Water used by a vessel to control immersion and trim in order to keep the vessel within efficient operating limits and preserve stability and hull integrity. Commonly confused with, but quite distinct from "bilge" water.
bilge water Incidental waste water accumulating inside the vessel. Commonly confused with, but quite distinct from "ballast" water
benthos Adj. "benthic." Bottom dwelling organisms. "Benthos" and "benthic" are commonly used in speaking of the bed of both saltwater and freshwater ecosystems.
BOB "Ballast on board," or a vessel in that status. Includes a vessel full up "in ballast" or partially ballasted "with ballast."
bulk carrier Also "bulker." A large merchant vessel, or freighter, which carries dry bulk cargoes such as grain, iron ore, and coal.
cabotage Trade or navigation in coastal waters, usually used in reference to common legal rules restricting carriage of cargo between the ports of a nation to ships registered or "flagged" by that nation.
container ship A large merchant vessel, or freighter, which carries standard size containers, which can be offloaded directly to trains and trucks.
CSA Canadian Shipowners Association. Association of companies owning much of the major Canadian commercial vessels inside and outside of the Great Lakes.
cysts Highly resistant and, encrusted, and dormant stages of algae and protozoans, commonly in the range of 5 to 25 microns in size.
DFO (Canada) Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Includes Canadian Coast Guard and DFO Science Branch, both of which have responsibilities for management of exotics in ballast water. The Great Lakes region is the responsibility of the DFO Central and Arctic Region, with a Great Lakes regional office in Sarnia, Ontario.
dinoflagellates Dinoflagellata. Includes microscopic unicellular algae, some of which are highly toxic. These have been a special concern in ballast water infections of Australia.
DWT Deadweight tonnes. The weight, given in English long tons (2,240 pounds) in the United States and in metric tonnes (1,000 kilograms) elsewhere, that a vessel will lift when loaded in salt water to its summer freeboard marks, sometimes called "summer deadweight tonnes" (SDWT) - a measure of the total capacity to carry crew, provisions, fuel, ballast, and cargo, not counting hull and machinery. Subtracting crew, provisions, fuel, and ballast from DWT gives "deadweight cargo carrying capacity" (DWCC), which is the actual capacity to carry cargo. Not the same as "tonnage" or "gross registered tonnage (GRT)."
EEZ Exclusive economic zone, the area of the sea in which a coastal nation has the right, recognized under the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea and current customary international law, to control access to resources and enforce rules for the protection of those resources against pollution or damage. It extends up to 200 nautical miles from the "baseline," which is a smoothing out of the coastline according to a set of standard rules, and therefore is also known as the "200-mile zone."
extirpation Local extinction.
externality An effect on a third party, good or bad, which is not transmitted through the price system. In other words, a benefit or cost which is not accounted for in the market. In economic terms, pollution and destruction of common resources are negative externalities. Information, private economic development which creates wealth for others without compensation, and other "public goods" are positive externalities (although not all positive externalities are public goods).
flag state The national authority which registers or "flags" a vessel. All vessels are required to register with some nation under international law. The flag state has general authority over the management and safety of the vessel, but may need the assistance of a "port state" to enforce that authority. Most of the leading maritime nations (including the US and Canada) require the vessels registering with them to be owned by their citizens and have extensive regulatory requirements (closely parallel between the two nations) to insure safety and environmental protection. Some other states, known as "flags of convenience," have much lower requirements, and are therefore cheaper to register with. See also "cabotage."
flow-through exchange Exchanging ballast by a continuous process which maintains a constant load on in the tank. A bottom-up flow-through exchange can only be accomplished with a full tank. A top-down flow-through exchange can be accomplished with a tank at any level, including a "NOBOB" tank with slop and sediment. See "sequential exchange" and "partial exchange."
GLWQA (78/87) The Great Lake Water Quality Agreement of 1978/1987. Formally, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978, as amended by the Protocol of 1987, signed at Ottawa by the US Secretary of State and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, November 22, 1978. The GLWQA 78/87 is not a ratified treaty, but is formally recognized by US statutes and the Canada-Ontario Agreement. It mandates the binational International Joint Commission (IJC) to conduct studies of the Great Lakes ecosystem and provide "advice and recommendations to the Parties [the two federal governments] and to the State and Provincial Governments" on protection of Great Lakes water quality." Article III, § 1(c).
GRT Gross registered tonnage. A measure of volume, in units of 100 cubic feet or 2.83 cubic meters, of enclosed spaces in the vessel.
handysize ship A bulk carrier ("bulker") or tank vessel in the range of 10,000 to 35,000 "DWT," usually small enough to fit through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
IMO International Maritime Organization. IMO is a "specialized agency" of the United Nations, originally established as the "Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultation Organization" in 1948. It is a forum for consultation on matters of safety and prevention of pollution in shipping, and the forum in which most of the major international conventions on maritime safety and environmental protection are negotiated. See "MARPOL" and "MEPC."
Invasive Species Council US federal committee to coordinate programs for all exotics (terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial) established by Executive Order (EO) 13112, Invasive Species (February 3, 1999), at 64 Federal Register 6183 (February 8, 1999).
JSA Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture, US National Science and Technology Council. A Federal interagency coordinating group to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of Federal aquaculture research, transfer, and assistance programs to aquaculture. Chaired by the Department of Agriculture.
knot (kn) A unit of speed, a nautical mile per hour. 1 knot = 1.151 statue miles per hour or 1.85 kilometers per hour. See "nautical mile." Almost all international shipping uses knots to measure speed, but US and Canadian lakers and inland barge traffic use miles per hour.
limnetic Adj. Referring to the upper levels of a freshwater ecosystem. The freshwater counterpart to the "pelagic" areas and organisms of the sea.
LCA Lake Carriers' Association. Association of companies owning most of the major US commercial vessels operating on the Great Lakes.
Marine Board Committee on Ships' Ballast Operations, Marine Board, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences.
MARPOL The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, done at London, November 2, 1973, amended by the Protocol of 1978, called "MARPOL 73/78" or just "MARPOL," (although this is not actually an acronym for the name of the convention). The main convention has various "annexes" on specific types of pollution: Annex I on oil, Annex II on noxious liquid substances in bulk, Annex III on harmful substances in packages, containers, or tanks, Annex IV on sewage, and Annex V on garbage. "IMO," through the "MEPC" and its Ballast Water Working Group, has been developing an annex to MARPOL for international regulation of exotics in ballast water.
MEPC Marine Environment Protection Committee, IMO. This is the committee of IMO concerned with "MARPOL," and it has a Ballast Water Working Group which has been developing an annex to MARPOL for international regulation of exotics in ballast water.
metric tonne (mt) Also "metric ton." A mass of 1000 kilograms (2,205 pounds), also sometimes used informally as a volume of one cubic meter (m3) because one metric tonne of water in volume is approximately equal to one metric tonne in mass. (A cubic meter of water (m3) is 1.3 times a cubic yard.) A metric tonne of mass is equal to 1.102 English short or net tons (2,000 pounds) and 0.98 English long or gross tons (2,240 pounds). Approximately, 1 metric tonne of water (or m3, to be more precise) = 264 US gallons.
micron (µ) Length, one-millionth (10-6) of a meter. Protozoan cysts may be as small as 5 microns. Active protozoans range from 30 to 300 microns. Zebra mussel larvae or veligers range from 70 to 290 microns.
mid-ocean An inaccurate term often used for "open ocean."
millimeter (mm) Length, one-thousandth (10-3) of a meter.
mm See "millimeter."
MSD Marine sanitation device, a shipboard system for treating sewage before discharge (a holding tank, for discharge to shore, is technically referred to as an MSD under US law, even though it does not actually treat the sewage). Most systems work in two stages, a first-state settling and aeration tank using aerobic bacteria to break down the sewage, followed by a second stage disaffection with either ultraviolet light (most common on Canadian and third-party vessels) or chlorine (most common on US lakers internal to the Great Lakes, which have also been installing a third dechlorinating stage in order to comply with Great Lakes standards on chlorine discharges).
mt/MT See "metric tonne."
NANPCA 90 Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, Public Law 101-646 (November 29, 1990), amended by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA 96), Public Law 104-332 (26 October 1996), codified at 16 USC §§ 4701 et seq. NANPCA 90 established the first mandatory regime for controlling ballast water in the Great Lakes. Also provided for research programs and federal-state cooperative efforts on ballast water and other vectors, and established the federal "ANS Task Force" and the Great Lakes Commission "ANS Panel."
nautical mile (nm) Standard distance used in both maritime and aeronautic navigation, equal to the average length of 1 minute of arc on a great circle of the Earth, and therefore also equal to 1 minute arc of longitude (measured by change in line of latitude). 1 nautical mile = 1.151 statute miles, 1.852 kilometers, or 6,076 feet.
NISA 96 National Invasive Species Act of 1996, Public Law 104-332 (26 October 1996), codified at 16 USC §§ 4701 et seq. NISA 96 expands the provisions of the Great Lakes regime for controlling exotics in ballast water established under NANPCA 90 to the United States as a whole, with modifications. Technically, the statute is still NANPCA 90, as amended by NISA 96, but the extensive substantive amendments made by NISA 96, plus the greater ease of the later acronym, have led to "NISA" or "NISA 96" being the preferred common name for the statute.
lamprey See "sea lamprey."
nekton Adj. "nektonic." Free-swimming organisms.
NOBOB "No ballast on board," or a vessel in that status. Most vessels categorized as having "no ballast on board" because they have pumped down to loss of suction are in fact carrying some amount of residual slop and sediment (about 160 metric tonnes, on average, for vessels entering the Great Lakes).
NIS Nonindigenous species. Although not exactly the same term, commonly used interchangeably with "ANS" and "exotics."
North Central Region (NCR) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) region which includes all of the Great Lakes states except Pennsylvania and New York. The NCR has several centers for the study and promotion of aquaculture, including the North Central Region Aquaculture Center at Michigan State University.
NRT Net registered tonnage. A measure of volume, in units of 100 cubic feet or 2.83 cubic meters, of enclosed cargo-carrying spaces in the vessel, subject to special regulatory deductions. Supposedly the net after the subtraction of non-earning spaces from "gross registered tonnage (GRT)."
open ocean Ocean areas away from the seacoast and over deep water, where the ecology is significantly different than in coastal or shallow areas because of low nutrients (oligotrophy), higher ultraviolet penetration, higher salinities, and different predators. Within the context of the Great Lake ballast water regime, refers to the ocean outside the regulatory limit of 200 miles off shore and 2000 meters of depth. But that limit is negotiable, depending on the currents and actual ecological conditions of the area in question.
partial exchange Also called a "swish and spit." The idea, not yet put into practice, of putting a small amount of water into a largely empty tank on a "NOBOB" vessel and then pumping down to loss of suction again in order to wash out slop and sediment on the bottom of the tank. See "flow-through exchange" and "sequential exchange."
pelagic Adj. Referring to the open waters of the sea and its organisms. The freshwater counterparts, properly speaking, are "limnetic" organisms. Pelagic organisms include both "plankton" and "nekton," and are distinguished from "benthic" organisms.
plankton Adj. "planktonic." Mainly microscopic "pelagic" or "limnetic" aquatic life with little self-propulsion, drifting at various depths. Includes "zooplankton," small animals, "meroplankton," larval fish, "phytoplankton," small plants, and "macrophytes," small pieces or seeds of plants (such as algae).
port state The national authority with jurisdiction over the waters through which a vessel sails. See "flag state."
preemption The doctrine, in United States law, that extensive regulation of a subject by the US Congress prevents the US states from regulating the same subject. A related doctrine, often confused with "preemption" although technically distinct, is the doctrine that a US state may not impose an unreasonable burden on interstate and international commerce. Both of these doctrines come into issue when a US state engages in regulation of commercial shipping, which has long been an industry heavily regulated by federal law. However, the US federal courts are also deferential to the right of the US states to protect their natural resources. This conflict was dealt with in detail in the leading US Supreme Court case of Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 435 US 151 (1978).
Prisoner's Dilemma A strategic game problem, representing a variety of problems in collective social action, which has the following structure: (1) If A and B both cooperate, they gain X. (2) If A defects from cooperation, while B cooperates, A gains a value Y which is greater than X. The same rule applies to B defecting while A cooperates. (3) But if A and B both defect (as they each have an incentive to do, under the prior rules) both gain a value Z, which is less than X. The paradigmatic example of the Prisoner's Dilemma structure in environmental problems is the "tragedy of the commons." The Prisoner's Dilemma can be overcome through a variety of means, including the establishment of a larger structure which rewards cooperation and punishes defections. That may be provided by a political authority, or by a continuing relationship between the players.
public good Anything desirable which, once produced, tends to benefit a wide variety of people whether or not those other people compensate the person producing it, usually because it is structurally difficult to ration, price, or limit the good, sometimes because the good is indivisible. The most common (and valuable) public good is information. Once produced, it tends to benefit all, without further cost to the producer, and it is difficult (despite copyright protections) for the producer to recover the full value, in large part because it is indivisible. A public good is a positive "externality."
quagga mussel Dreissena bugensis, a mussel which is closely related to the zebra mussel.
ppm (mg/L) Parts per million.
ppt (o/oo) Parts per thousand.
regime A deliberately vague term for a system of social control which may include voluntary, mandatory, formal, informal, social, economic, political, or legal elements (as distinct from the more common meaning of a specific political administration).
ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus, a small and spiny bottom-feeding fish from Europe and Asia, called both "European ruffe" and "Eurasian ruffe."
Shipping Act The Canadian federal statute for the general regulation of shipping, including pollution from ships. Revised Statutes of Canada, RS Chapter S-9. Parliament amended the Shipping Act in 1998 to provide that "The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the control and management of ballast water." Shipping Act§ 657.1, as added October 31, 1998.
sea lamprey Peromyzon marinus, an anadromous parasitic fish.
Seaway Management Corporation St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. Canadian non-profit corporation, replacing the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority in 1998, which manages the Canadian portion of Seaway, including the Welland Canal (headquartered in Cornwall, Ontario).
sequential exchange An exchange of ballast by pumping down a tank and refilling it (or, theoretically, filling up an empty tank and emptying it, but this is never done). See "flow-through exchange" and "partial exchange."
SLSDC St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. US public corporation which manages the US portion of the Seaway (headquartered at Massena, New York).
TEU Twenty-foot equivalent unit. A standard container size, used as a measure of the carrying capacity of container ships.
tank ship Also "tanker." A large commercial vessel which carries liquid cargoes such as crude oil, refined oil, or bulk liquid chemicals.
third party (foreign) vessel Vessels entering the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway which are neither US nor Canadian. They are subject to "port state" control under both US and Canadian law as they pass through internal territorial waters, and do not have the reciprocal right to nondiscriminatory regulation between US and Canadian vessels under the Boundary Waters Treaty.
tonnage See "DWT" and "GRT."
tragedy of the commons The loss of public resources, to everyone's detriment, because of a lack of an economic, social, or political structure assuring the cooperation of individuals. One of the common examples is a fishery not subject to any resource management by collective authority. All fishers will lose their livelihood if the stocks are exhausted. But each individual fisher has a strong incentive to take as much as he or she can before the exhaustion occurs (especially because he or she expects others to be doing exactly the same). This is a more specific version of a general strategic game among rational actors called "Prisoner's Dilemma." The behavior is not rational in collective terms. But it is at the individual level.
Transport Canada Canadian Department of Transportation, the department responsible for general supervision and regulation of marine transportation. The Great Lakes region is the responsibility of the Ontario Region, headquartered in North York, Ontario.
UV Ultraviolet light/radiation. Electromagnetic radiation in wavelengths between 4,000 angstroms (near visible) and 40 angstroms (near x-rays).
US Coast Guard (USCG) The US agency responsible for general supervision and regulation of marine transportation. The Great Lakes region is the responsibility of the Ninth District of the US Coast Guard, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
veliger Larvae or young.
zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, a European mussel (now a Great Lakes mussel) originally from the Black and Caspian Seas.