As waste becomes a global concern in the seas and oceans, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that the threat of marine litters and plastic pollution will pose severe challenges to food security, economic activities, among others unless collective efforts are put in place to tackle the menace.
Speaking yesterday to create awareness on marine litters and plastic management, at the public presentation of the Maritime Action Plan on Marine Litters and Plastics Management, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, regretted that although the nation’s oceans and seas sustain lives the threats to ocean health are numerous, and now also affecting human beings.
According to him, a report by the World Economic Forum(WEF) projects that by the year 2050, plastics in the oceans will outweigh fish if not mitigated.
He said an immeasurable number of coastal communities in Nigeria have no official waste collection service, meaning that there is nowhere for litters to go. Regrettably, he noted that most of the waste generated in these communities end up in the seas and oceans.
Peterside hinted that the overall implication for the Nigerian economy are enormous, adding that the presence of marine litters and plastics in our waters was impacting negatively on the drive to make Nigeria a greener, safer and healthier nation.
Speaking on the steps by the agency to redress the menace, he said, “recognising that NIMASA has a responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria has clean seas and oceans, we have decided to take action in partnership with others to combat the menace. The result of that coordinated effort is the Maritime Action Plan on Marine Litters and Plastics which we are here to present. The purpose of the marine litters action plan includes the following: to set a national roadmap to tackle all litter related issues, especially the ones arising from shipping related activities, identify specific actions that need to be taken by different parties to reduce and eliminate marine litters and plastics from our seas and oceans. Others are: strengthen corporation and collaboration in tackling marine litters and plastics pollution, establish template that monitors progress in our fight against marine litters and plastics in our seas and oceans among others,” he added.