Ballast waters
As global maritime traffic has expanded over the last decades, so have the harmful effects of invasive species being carried from one part of the world to another. Ballast water, used by vessels to provide stability has been a major contributor to the transmission of such invasive species. Ballast water is often sourced from areas rich in marine life, transported and then discharged into different marine ecosystems. This activity can result in the introduction of new species, threatening the ecological balance and can act as a medium for the spread of epidemic diseases.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water (lake) on Earth (400,000km²), with a unique brackish habitat which is home to a large number of endemic and endangered species including the Caspian seal and 90% of the worlds sturgeon. The Caspian represents an area of high biodiversity importance and is particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to its closed nature and unique ecosystems.

Our subsidiary Caspian Services Group recognizes the importance of proper handling of ballast water for its vessels entering and exiting the Caspian Sea and operates its vessels in accordance with national and international regulations.

Currently all Caspian Services Group vessels entering the Caspian Sea de-ballast in the Sea of Asov and then re-ballast in the Volga canal prior to entering the Caspian Sea. Ballast water logs are kept on all its vessels and Caspian Services Group also seeks to minimize the use of ballast water and to make use of internal ballast transfer whenever possible.

Ballast water management is to become progressively more regulated over the coming years under the 2004 IMO ?Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments’ and Caspian Services Group is ready to meet these requirements.