The Deputy Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr. Daniel Appianin, has urged plastic manufacturing companies and the country as a whole to look for other alternatives in producing usable items rather than bent on the production of plastics which in turn affect us.
He underscored the need to safeguard our seas and oceans devoid of garbages and plastics. He disclosed that, about 17.6 billion tons of plastic waste are found in the Oceans annually, most of which he attributed to the fisher folks and vessels.
According to Mr. Appianin, “The assumption is that, in every one minute about a truck full of garbage and plastics are thrown into the see. And that should tell you the magnitude of waste it is and the seriousness with which we are so much interested in this plastic issue. I wish we all see this menace as a shared responsibility, and that various agencies, institutions and communities especially along the coast, fishermen and all stakeholders including the maritime industry, see the need to do something about this menace.”
Mr. Daniel Appianin, was speaking at this year’s Maritime Day, which was organized by Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) supported by the Transport Ministry and many other institutions and agencies, on 24th September, 2019, with a clean up exercise along the shores in Accra.
He further, urged the general public to desist from turning the sea shores as dumping sites. Noting that, because of the toxification the fishes are dying, and as the feed on the waste and we in turn feeds on them, we end up being toxificated.
He also disclosed that, plastic waste in the oceans interfere with whale and dolphin communications, their ability to find food, and also increases their stress levels.
However, he said, the World Maritime Day, is an opportunity for the international maritime community to commemorate the efforts to preserve the safety of life at sea (blue economy) and the marine environment protection through international maritime organisation(IMO).
On her behalf at the event, Mrs. Jemilat Mahamah, President of WISTA Ghana, speaking under the Theme: “EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY”, noted that, ” The Blue economy is believed to be the next frontier for sustainable
development for the world population and covers a wide and diverse
range of opportunities from fisheries, oil and gas, maritime transport,
marine eco-tourism, aquaculture, ports operations, ship building, etc.
However, our ocean is plagued with a number of challenges. Ocean
governance is a key priority for the United Nations and requires our
collectively, as part of the global maritime community we have a responsibility to be conscious of the effects of man’s activities to our oceans. The major challenge today facing our oceans is pollution from ships, and
land based sources.
Plastic pollution in particular is a major source of concern and would need innovative ideas to addressing it. The use of innovative technology and the ban on single use plastics, recycling of
plastics is key to overcoming plastic ocean pollution.”