Michigan seeks ban on ballast from eastern Great Lakes
The shipping industry has been blamed in recent years for introducing many of the invasive species that are ravaging what's left of the Great Lakes native fish populations, but the fight to stop the spread of the latest microscopic invader might just threaten the monstrous freighters themselves.
"Wow. Ships can't operate if they can't take on and discharge ballast," said Glen Nekvasil, spokesman for the Lake Carriers' Association, which represents U.S. shippers operating inside the Great Lakes, a group that moves about 125 million tons of cargo annually. "A ban on ballast uptakes would bring shipping to a halt."
So the equation is pretty simple: Gobies can be transported by ballast tanks, and gobies themselves can carry the virus.