Ghanaian journalists have been urged to show a keen interest in the marine environment and report on activities to help safeguard the ocean for the benefit of everyone.
Mr Afedzi Abdullah, an Environmental journalist, who made the call, said journalists and media practitioners could use their strong influence to educate the people about the ocean and its importance to their lives.
He was speaking in a virtual consultative seminar with experts on the need to protect the ocean and its inhabitants organised by Sustainable Ocean Alliance, (SOA) Ghana.
The seminar brought ocean experts together to discuss and offer recommendations on what needed to be done to avoid the incidence of ocean inhabitants being washed ashore in Ghana.
Among other things, it explored the role of relevant stakeholders in protecting ocean inhabitants and highlighted the ocean’s importance to the ecosystem and environmental sustainability.
Mr Abdullah stressed the need for stakeholders to collaborate to solve the challenges facing the ocean and the environment in totality.
He encouraged Civil Society Organizations, academia and relevant stakeholders to increase advocacy on the marine environment.
Mr Abdullah, who is an SOA Ghana Fellow, charged the government to effectively implement laws that protected marine life.
“There will also be the need to demonstrate strong passion and commitment and collaborate with the private sector to encourage local participation,” he said.
Mr Abdullah underscored the importance of protecting the ocean and marine life and indicated that the ocean generated half of the oxygen humans breathed while absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
He said the ocean was essential for the ecosystem, biodiversity and employed millions of people.
“Protecting the ocean is not an easy task because it has a vast area that contains about 97 per cent of the planet’s livable habitat and acts as a home to different species and so it should be a shared responsibility and of concern to everyone,” he said.
Professor Francis Nunoo, a Fisheries Scientist at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana, who spoke on the topic “Protecting Ocean Inhabitants, whose duty?”, called for an intensified efforts of awareness creation and education about the ocean and its importance to human life.
“We can all do something, let’s make good lifestyle choices, eat sustainable seafood, reduce energy use, properly dispose of hazardous materials, pick up the garbage and participate in beach cleanups,” he advised.
Professor Nunoo further called for security and effective monitoring along the country’s marine waters to prevent individuals from distracting the life of fishes and endanger their consumption.
SOA Ghana, the Ghanaian Chapter of a global community of youth, entrepreneurs and experts is the largest youth-led network of ocean allies in the world born to accelerate solutions, cultivate leaders and create a community that will restore the ocean.