In recent year, growing needs for international trading (of natural resources) derived from economic development result in high percentages of marine transportation accounts for more than 90% among the total international trading. As the needs of shipping increases, more and more ballast water are transported through the shipping. It is estimated that ballast water includes more than 3,000 species of aquatic organisms which migrate over the world by international trading. Although only below 3% of aquatic organisms survive in new environments discharged from a ship, introduced organisms could destroy habitats of aboriginal species and the marine environment and impact against economic and ecological concerns.
In response to the growing concern regarding the impacts of ballast water, ‘International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments’ was adopted by International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states in 2004. The region of the Northwest Pacific, semi-enclosed seas where marine environment is strongly related to each country, also faces up to the problems derived from ballast water. However, it is not well reported the immediate damage caused by the invasive species in the NOWPAP region. Although the processes for invading are not ascertained, it is regarded that ballast water discharges could be one of the important processes of invasion of aquatic organisms.
For implementation of the IMO Ballast Convention, the NOWPAP Members have been developing response technique and are under consideration relating regulations within the framework of the guidelines of the Convention. It is necessary to develop detailed regional management under co-operation with NOWPAP Members, i.e., ballast water exchange, risk assessments, specific requirement, technical assistance, and exchange of information to control the amount of aquatic organisms in ballast water to fulfill the Convention. On the basis of the outcomes and experiences carried out in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, the demonstration site of the Global Ballast Water Management Programmes, it is need to apply to the NOWPAP region. In addition, considering the fact that the 10th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (Toyama, Japan, November 2005) agreed to expand theMERRAC activities into covering the ballast water issue as well as other ship-related pollution, the further regional co-operative activities against ballast water can be jointly and efficiently developed within the framework of the NOWPAP MERRAC.