Transformation Image
© Tim Calver

Reduce Ocean Pollution

Areas of Transformation
Ocean Health
Implementation Region
Implementation Scale

On 10 July 2018, Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed the Ballast Water Management Bill to protect the marine environment from ship source pollution.

The Ballast Water Management Act was promulgated in 2019. 

Beautiful fish swimming around corals under the sea

The bill supports the country’s commitment under the Ballast Water Management Convention, to which Jamaica is a Party.

Underwater view of green plants

The act implements measures to prevent ships entering Jamaica’s waters from introducing foreign aquatic species and diseases.


Approximately 2,400 ships visit Jamaica’s waters every year, bringing and taking bulk cargo, such as bauxite and alumina, and discharging their ballast water before the loading operation.

As a result, Jamaica is at risk of invasive aquatic species or pathogens being introduced into the maritime environment.

Recipe for Successful Implementation

Implementing nationwide legislation allows for a concise, consistent approach to ballast water management, minimising the extent to which confusion may occur regarding the active management of, for example, ballast water tanks.

This process is replicable as it follows a clear legislative guideline which sets out to improve ocean health.

Fun Fact Image
Fun Fact Graphic

Approximately 10 billion tonnes of ballast water are transferred globally on an annual basis, and about 10,000 species, including invasive aquatic species, are carried each day in the ballast tanks of ships.

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