Taking stock of available literature and data related to the impacts of aquatic invasive species in Canada
Project Duration
January 2019
March 2019
Research Priority Area
Maritime Law, Policy and Governance
Project Website

Ballast water is important for the safety and stability of ships but can introduce potentially aquatic invasive species like the zebra mussel into Canadian waters. Canada established ballast water regulations in 2006. In 2010, Canada acceded to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. Amendments to Canada’s ballast water regulations are needed to give effect to the Convention, which entered into force in 2017. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of the regulatory amendments will not only support the regulatory process in the short term, it will also inform ongoing policy development and future evidence-based engagement with international partners.

It has been estimated that regulations giving effect to the Convention would avoid the economic and environmental impacts of approximately 41 AIS across Canada, six of which could include severe economic damage. That said, TC requires information on the value of avoiding these invasions (i.e., the benefits of implementing the Convention), both in monetary and non-monetary (quantitative and/or qualitative non-monetary) terms. Given limited data available at a national scale on impacts of AIS, the study seeks to understand the methodological options and associated considerations related to estimating the minimum benefits that can be expected by implementing the Convention in Canada.

Project Taking Stock of Available Literature and Data Related to the Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Canada, and Considerations Related to Methodological Approaches for Estimating the Benefits of Implementing the Ballast Water Convention in Canada (BAIS) includes undertaking a thorough review of the relevant literature on the costs of AIS, focusing first on the Canadian context and then considering other areas as appropriate, as well as relevant literature on assessing the costs of AIS. The work also includes preparing a description of three possible methodological options that could be used to estimate the minimum monetary benefits to Canada of implementing the Convention, including considerations related to their use, such as in terms of advantages/disadvantages, data availability, scope of work required to collect new data, etc.

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Principal Investigator
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Co-principal investigator
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Project Officer
Tafsir Matin Johansson
Assistant Professor (Research/Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management)