Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency has called for the protection of ocean for future generations as it serves as home to important species and ecosystems that humans rely on for food.
He said the oceans faced a massive and growing threat from plastics; from land-based sources as a result of some indiscriminate human activities including the dumping of garbage and plastic materials into the sea.
The MP was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema as the nation marks the United Nations World Ocean Day 2021, on the theme: “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”.
According to the UN, the ocean, which covers over 70 per cent of the planet and supports humanity’s sustenance and every other organism on earth, produces at least 50 per cent of the planet’s oxygen and is home for most of earth’s biodiversity.
Mr Ashai Odamtten said as part of the global commemoration of Ocean Day, there was urgent need for some concerted efforts for deliberate and sustainable management interventions by all stakeholders, including; government, to protect the sea and rid it of plastics.
“If we do not stem the increasing deposit of plastics in the ocean, in the next 30 years, the plastic stock in the ocean will be more than the fish stock,” he warned.
That, he explained, was a worrying statistics and if nothing was done about it, aquatic lives would be lost because of the indiscriminate human activities on land, specifically the disposal of plastic waste.
Mr Ashai Odamtten who was a former Metropolitan Chief Executive, Tema Metropolitan Assembly, said even though the planting of the trees was undoubtedly commendable, it smacked hypocrisy since some trees were destroyed deliberately rather than preserving them and planting more.
He mentioned some indiscriminate activities at the Sakumo Lagoon where foreign materials were dumped into it and when it rained, most of the materials were deposited into the sea hence making the sea beds to rise and as a result affected the coastline particularly around Dade Agbo through to Bankoma in Tema New Town.
He said the assembly must guard the Sakumo lagoon and protect the embankment from being encroached, warning that, if care was not taken, flood prone areas may have worsened conditions since the basin of the lagoon had been filled.
He, therefore, called on state actors particularly the Metropolitan Assembly to show concern to the environment and protect it for the Metropolis’ sustenance.