The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside on Thursday, urged stakeholders in the maritime industry to collaborate with the agency in reducing the threat of marine litter to food security and the ecosystem to boost economy. The Nation Newspapers reports.
Addressing over 1,000 participants at the launch of the Maritime Action Plan on Marine Litter and Plastic Management in Lagos, he said the collaboration becomes imperative because the challenges of marine litter and plastic pollution are multiple, and include threat to food security, threat to economic activities, navigational hazard, water safety, threat to ecosystem, harmful effects on marine life and bio-diversity among others.
Marine litter can be described as any man-made object discarded, disposed of, or abandoned that enters the coastal or marine environment. It can be very dangerous, and has the capacity to threaten oceans and coasts, endangers marine animals and seabirds, affects navigation of vessels and also has health and safety implications on lives. The NIMASA chief said it was a known fact that the nation’s oceans and seas sustain lives but when the threats to ocean health are numerous, it also affects human beings.
He said: “A report by the World Economic Forum projects that by the year 2050, plastics in the oceans will outweigh fish if mitigated.
“It is well known that of 260 million tons of plastic produced in the world each year, about 10per cent ends up in the ocean and 70 per cent of the mass eventually sinks, damaging life on the seabed.”