The US Coast Guard Research Development Center (USCG RDC) and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have launched a new study to assess the effectiveness of variable fluorescence-based instruments as compliance tools for ballast water checks.
Under this validation study, both USCG RDC and MARAD will conduct blind testing of field and lab samples at three different sites in the US during September.
The investigation will analyse three fluorometers, including Turner Designs’ Ballast-Check 2 handheld PAM fluorometer, which is designed for quick indicative compliance checks for viable algal organisms in the 10µm – 50µm size class.
Turner Designs marketing and sales vice-president Pam Mayerfeld said: "I am very impressed with their detailed preparation for the study.
"They fully defined all sampling protocols and cell-counting methods. They’re looking at several different natural waters, as well as algal monocultures with known interferences."
Mayerfeld also added that researchers have a range of forms in place so data will be collected consistently across the three sites.
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Turner Designs Ballast-Check 2, a battery-operated PAM fluorometer, features a one-button measurements display that estimates both algal abundance and algal activity, and delivers a quick indication of risk for gross exceedance of the regulation.
The USCG RDC is established to conduct research, development, and test and evaluation in support of the coast guard’s major missions.
It is responsible for evaluating the feasibility and affordability of mission solutions, and offering operational and risk-management analysis at all stages of the acquisition process.
MARAD works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety.
Image: Turner Designs’ Ballast-Check 2 battery-operated PAM fluorometer. Photo: courtesy of Turner Designs.