The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has called on Nigerians especially those living in the coastal regions to protect the marine environment as it is critical to human existence.
Dr. Peterside who said this in commemoration of the World Ocean Day observed that this year’s theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the creation of awareness on the harmful effects of plastics to water bodies is very germane given the wanton deposition of plastics and plastic materials into the water.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to champion the campaign for the protection of the marine environment which he said has a lot of positive socio-economic impact on human life.
“We join the rest of the world in the efforts to promote the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity and the cultural heritage of the ocean” the DG said.
He further said “the marine environment that covers about 70% of the earth’s surface is essential for food security, health and survival of life and is a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Ocean Day therefore is an opportunity for us to raise awareness on the current global challenges to the ocean”.
Dr. Peterside therefore called on Nigerians to help save the ocean by ensuring that waterways are free of debris and every kind of pollution that poses dangers to the sea and its inhabitants.
The management and protection of Nigeria’s marine environment from activities inimical to its eco balance is one of the key functions of NIMASAwhich mandate is executed through several international conventions and protocols as ratified by the Federal Government. Nigeria’s commitment to full enforcement of the MARPOL ‘73/’78 Convention, London Convention ‘72 and the London Protocol ‘96 as well as BALLASTWATER 2004 is unwavering.
The World Ocean Day celebrated on the 8th of June every year seeks tocreate awareness for the protection and conservation of the marine environment from litters and other harmful practices.