THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry is looking to expedite ballast water testing after trials of sampling kits produced promising results.

Last July, DAFF’s Innovation Pilots and Marine and Aquatic Biosecurity teams began a pilot program to compare two ballast water sampling kits, the Satake Ballast Catch and Ballast Eye and the SGSBWMS2.

The goal of the pilot was to assess if existing sampling kits could save money and enable the department’s biosecurity officers to sample and test water in-house.

Each kit was tested in the port of Newcastle on seven vessels over four days during routine vessel inspections.

The functionality of the technology, and compliance with the International Maritime Organization standards of sampling both large (50μm) and small (10-50μm) organisms were tested. The overall reliability and accuracy of each kit was also assessed.

DAFF says both kits achieved promising results and the department will purchase one of the kits in the coming months for future use in the testing of ballast water.

“This pilot marks a significant stride towards enhancing the department’s biosecurity measures,” DAFF said. “With these advancements, in-house capabilities can lead the way in safeguarding our marine ecosystems in the future.”

More information about the pilot can be obtained by emailing