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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which analyzes the international legal framework in regard to biopollution of the marine environment as the result of the exchange (up take and discharge) of ships ballast water. Specifically this means biological pollution of the marine environment through the unintentional transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens from a marine ecosystem to another due to the discharge of ships ballast water and associated sediments as well as related vectors. A case study of the experience of Brazil explores the implications of this international legal regime. This review poses questions for any country to consider including whether or not addressing the full range of concerns and responsibilities surrounding biopollution requires new or different forms of legal and institutional responses at the national level. The chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: ballast water; biopollution; international legal regime; marine environment



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