Maritime Report

November 18, 2020

Damage by plastic, other pollution to marine environment hits $13billion

Damage by plastic, other pollution to marine environment hits $13billion

•As stakeholders raise alarm over ocean noise

By Godwin Oritse

STAKEHOLDERS in the management of the marine environment have advocated for a concerted effort by the Nigerian government to step up action against plastic pollution of the marine environment.

They also place the value of the damage caused by the pollutions at USD13 billion annually.

Various speakers at the just concluded second symposium of the African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative, AFMESI, a non-profit organisation held in Lagos said the inaction of the government to stem the rate of plastic pollution of the marine environment could have dire consequences if unchecked.

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The founder of the group, Mrs. Felicia Mogo, noted that pollution was one of the major limiting factors to the blue economy in Africa, and encouraged the African countries to unify their positions and make contributions to the issue to the global regulatory bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation, IMO.

She called for the full implementation of the  BASEL Convention,  a global convention that advocates for preventing trans-boundary movements of hazardous waste, among others.

She also called for more advocacies among African nations, their producing companies as well as communities in coastal areas.

Mogo, said that the unhealthy sounds created by humans’ activities in the ocean have made some of these marine and aquatic lives uncomfortable.

Mogo also said that this uncontrolled noise has made some of them move out of the nation’s territorial and coastal waters.

She explained that the more noise there is in the ocean, the further these animals move away from their natural habitat.

She stated: “In Nigeria for example, we have lost a lot in the biodiversity because of the high level of ocean noise; they now leave the area and migrate to other places.

“So it impacts biodiversity and it also impacts the environment itself due to diverse human activities and we are trying to make it possible to carry out the impact of acoustic noise in the marine environment.”

Vanguard News Nigeria