Ballast water treatment systems on board of merchant vessels and crew training.
Since the 1960s, the Black Sea has undergone dramatic environmental changes. These changes are considered as result from a complex interaction of different pressures, the most important being eutrophication, overfishing and introduction of alien species. As of September 2019, standard D-2 of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments shall enter into force. It demands the ballast water, taken into ballast tanks, to be treated with special systems in order to prevent the spreading of invasive species in different parts of the world during deballasting operations. The aim of this article is to draw the attention of interested institutions to the problem resulting from the need for crews to be prepared to work with these systems and to deal with the expected problems related to their execution, maintenance and certification. There is also a clear need to train marine personnel - from cadets to officers, including the ship's management level. Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, together with partner universities from Romania, the Netherlands and Cyprus, participates in the preparation of a concept within the DivSea project - Diversification of the professional development of seafarers by jointly developed programs for higher competency and certification under the Erasmus program.