The ICES/IOC/IMO Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors (WGBOSV) met at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, USA, on 15–17 March 2017, including a joint meeting on 15 March with the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO). The meeting was hosted by Judy Peder-son (USA) and chaired by Sarah Bailey (Canada). The meeting was attended by 21 scien-tists in person, 3 by web-conference, and 2 by correspondence, representing 10 countries; 5 additional scientists representing 3 additional countries attended on the joint meeting day. The objective of the meeting was to discuss and address the six terms of reference (ToRs) in order to co-ordinate and advance research activities that reduce the risk of transporting non-native species via shipping activities.
This interim report provides a brief summary of progress achieved on all ToRs and the related workplan, with National Reports and Abstracts for all presentations appended as annexes. The approach taken at the meeting was for each country to provide an update on the status of shipping vector research in the form of a National Report, facilitating a thorough review of national activities to identify potential collaborations, advance re-search and address knowledge gaps (ToR a). Subsequently, individual ToRs were pro-gressed through contributed presentations and group discussion. WGBOSV considered two ToRs jointly with WGITMO, examining biofouling as vector for the introduction and transfer of aquatic organisms on small boats and large ships (ToR e) and examining the effect of climate change on the establishment of aquatic species in the Arctic (ToR d).
During year 2, WGBOSV members submitted numerous manuscripts about methods for collection and analysis of ballast water samples to a special issue in the Journal of Sea Research, and developed a submission to the International Maritime Organization con-cerning the type of scientific data that should be collected during the experience-building phase after entry-into-force of the ballast water convention. Two additional scientific review papers were initiated and progressed intersessionally. One new recommendation came out of the meeting: to formalize the role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with the WGBOSV and to formalize the cooperation between ICES, IMO and In-tergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) through a submission from ICES Secretariat to IMO Secretariat. As last year’s recommendation to initiate discus-sion/coordination with other Arctic organisations (e.g. PAME, CAFF) with a view to jointly address non-native species issues in the Arctic has not yet been responded to, it has been restated in this report.