Invasive Species in Ballast Water Messing With World's Oceans Ships that carry ballast water -- used to balance and stabilize the vessels -- also carry thousands of aquatic species across the globe to foreign habitats, where they can have environmentally catastrophic effects. Recognizing this as one of the top four environmental problems facing the world's oceans (along with pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction), 100 countries are expected to sign a U.N. treaty this week calling for regulation of ballast-water use in vessels around the world. Ballast water "can transfer pathogens and other micro-organisms and invasive species that have the capacity …
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