Ballast Water Management: A Bibliometric and Network Analysis

Özkan E. D., Fışkın R., Çakır E., Arslan Ö.

International Symposium on Ballast Water and Biofouling Management in IAS Prevention and Control, Antalya, Turkey, 28 - 30 November 2023, pp.68-71

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.68-71
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Since the wooden ships have begun to be manufactured with steel hull, sea water has been used as ballast water to compensate the losses of balance caused by consumption of fuel and water during navigation of ships, to reduce the stress on hull, to provide ship stability during loading and unloading operations, and to increase maneuverability. Although ballast water is a factor that increases safety and productivity in modern maritime transport, it causes some ecological, economic and health problems. The transport of ballast water taken by ships from any geography to new marine environments which contain different marine species affects the marine ecosystem. Invasive marine species which are especially carried by ballast water such as bacteria, microbes, eggs, cysts, small invertebrates, and larvae of various species become a serious threat to the ecosystem of the new environment in which they are transferred. The increasing of this problem, along with the increasing maritime trade volume, has revealed the need for an international convention. Initially, in 1991, the efforts were started by IMO (International Maritime Organization) to introduce a regulation on the transfer of invasive marine species with ships and a resolution called “International Guidelines for Preventing the Introduction of Unwanted Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens from Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediment Discharges (Resolution MEPC.50(31))” was adopted. Ballast water transfer was recognized internationally as an important environmental issue at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, and it was targeted to bring under control of this issue with the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention)” which was adopted by IMO in 2004 as a result of long-term efforts of IMO and which entered into force in 2017.

With the advent of the BWM convention, ballast water management has become a research area and has been a field of interest for researchers. Performing an examination and a systematic analysis on these studies in the literature will contribute to the related research field. For this purpose, 299 studies published between 2017 and 2023 were compiled as a result of the search conducted according to certain keywords in the Web of Science (WOS) database. Bibliometric and network analyses (keywords network, authors network, geographical contribution map of the organizations, etc.) of these studies were carried out using VOSviewer. As a result of this study, it was revealed that countries such as USA, China, and Canada showed great interest to the related field, and these studies were published mostly in journals such as “Marine Pollution Bulletin” and “Journal of Sea Research”. It was observed that the authors who published the most on this subject were Sarah A. Bailey (from Canada) and Stephan Gollasch (from Germany). It is thought that the findings of this study will contribute to researchers who study on the related field and shed light on the determination of new research subjects.