The United States Coast Guard Research Development Center (USCG RDC) and the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) co-sponsored a validation study of the effectiveness of variable fluorescence-based instruments as compliance tools for ballast water checks. The study began June 1st in Key West, Florida. Blind testing of field and lab samples will be conducted through September, 2015, at three different sites in the US. Pam Mayerfeld, Turner Designs Vice President of Marketing and Sales, provided initial training on their Ballast-Check™ 2 Handheld Fluorometer and then stepped back to observe as the scientists proceeded to do the testing. “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. They have an array of forms in place so data will be collected consistently across the three sites. We are very excited to be part of this validation and anxious to see the results.”
The Turner Designs Ballast-Check 2 is one of three fluorometers included in the validation study. Ballast-Check 2 is a small, lightweight, highly durable, battery-operated fluorometer. It is ideal for quick indicative compliance checks of the ballast water regulation for living algal organisms in the 10-50µm size class. Factory set, the Ballast-Check 2 is ready for use right out of the box, no calibration is necessary, though a calibration check standard is included for confirmation. Simple one-button measurements display estimates of both algal abundance and algal activity, providing a quick indication of risk for gross exceedance of the regulation. Results are displayed in less than one minute as well as logged internally for future downloading.