Although non-indigenous species are common in marine environments, and some cause significant environmental and economic impacts throughout the world, prior to this study there was very little information available for the frequency or impact of invasions by non-indigenous species at high latitudes. This pilot study was conducted over a one-year period as an initial step in defining the problem and potential risks in Port Valdez and Prince William Sound. The 1997 pilot study showed that plankton are abundant and diverse in the arriving ballast water and that some are not indigenous to Prince William Sound. The consultants doing the study concluded that the sound is at risk of invasion. The study was extended to provide further investigation into the content and management of ballast water. Aquatic samples were collected and analyzed to see what non-indigenous species have already become established.
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