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Ballast Water Sample Collection and Analysis aboard the RV Meteor

Scientists and instrument manufacturers from around the world collaborated on a 10 day voyage in June of 2015 from Mindelo, Cape Verde to Hamburg, Germany. This voyage, funded by BSH (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany), was made in an effort to examine the current ballast water sample collection and analysis approaches and their utility for compliance monitoring. Hundreds of samples of every size class were analyzed using several different technologies and instruments. The collaborative efforts of this team allowed for a very robust data set that includes comparisons with ground truth methods such as microscopy and cytometry. Use the following link to access the report ( and as you read through pay special attention to figures 7, 8, and 9 on pages 43-45 which do an excellent job of summarizing results for the 10-50 micron sized cells, the current target for indicative analysis of ballast water. The fluorometers included were developed by Turner Designs, Hach, Satake, BBE, and WALZ. Data from these fluorometers contributed greatly to this comprehensive study providing invaluable information for this analysis.

Turner Designs’ fluorometer, the Ballast-Check 2, has been released and is available for purchase. Developed as an indicative analysis tool, it is a simple, easy to use instrument for rapid analysis of ballast water and quickly provides accurate estimates for determining whether ships’ ballast water is in compliance with current ballast water discharge standards and/or regulations.

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