Ballast Water Management

What is Ballast water?
Ballast water is the material pumped into a ship's tanks to improve its stability for safe operations. Ballast water is taken up when cargo is unloaded and discharged when cargo is loaded, or when ships need extra stability in response to bad weather.

As ballast water is taken up, ships can also pick up the plants and animals that live in the water. When ballast water is discharged, these plants and animals can be released and at times become marine pests.

Ships visiting Western Port are required to meet the ballast water requirements of the Victorian Environment Protection Ships' Ballast Water Regulations 2006 and the Environment Protection Authority’s Waste Management Policy (Ships' Ballast Water), July 2004.


Ballast Water Management

Ballast water is regulated under the Biosecurity Act 2015, which was amended by the Biosecurity Amendment (Ballast Water and Other Measures) Act 2017 (Amendment Act), and the Biosecurity (Ballast Water and Sediments) Determination 2017. The regulation of ballast water management was taken over by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in 2017. Refer to their website for further information.



Refer to the Port Operating Handbook for Ballast water requirements.