Environmentalist raises alarm about pollution’s threat to fishing, ecosystem

Posted by News Express | 13 December 2020 | 727 times

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•Environmentalist Morris Alagoa

An Environmentalist and Project Director, Ondewari Health, Education and Environmental Project (OHEEP), Morris Alagoa, says pollution is a threat to fishermen the environment and the ecosystem.

He stated this during a one-day training organised by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), with the theme, “Coastal Environmental Monitoring, Reporting and Advocacy”, that fishing and farming are the dominant age-long occupation of Bayelsa people

He said: “Environmental education is the aspect of education that deals with the environment and its pollution.

“The marine ecosystem hosts about 80% of the world's biodiversity and also supports other life forms on land.

“We need clean and healthy creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans to support our own health and survival and we cannot afford to gamble with and privatise our oceans through exploration/exploitation and pollutions.

“Importance of the marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystem is that fishing is a source of livelihood, and a critical source of animal protein for people.

“The informal economy provides about 50-60% employment in many African countries. The informal sector contributes 60% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria,” he said.

Alagoa said the fishery sector employs up to 12 million people in Africa (58% in fishing and 42% in processing). The fisheries sector is clearly a major informal subsector that contributes to the provision of protein as well as supporting the livelihood of millions of Africans.

He said the negative impacts pollution they experience in the environment is that they have led to increased health risks, lower life expectancy, reduced levels of fecundity of land and marine ecosystems.

The environmentalist lamented that pollution degrades the environment and threatens aquatic ecosystem, their health and other means of livelihood.

In his remarks, Mr. Prince Ebi, a fisheries expert, said Bayelsa has comparative advantages in deep sea fishing using speed boats in their area amongst others.

He said fish farming also known as aquaculture also have some challenges, which are oil spill, sea pirates, gas explosion those are part of the challenges that affects fishers in Bayelsa.

Ebi explained that deep sea fishing is capital intensive, noting that the speed boats they use consume a lot of fuel in addition to nets and other fishing gears.

He said that the aquaculture people enjoys more than they as government through the ministry of Agriculture gives loan to them but never assist the deep sea fishers.

Mr. Ebieberi Wailers, a coastline marine expert, said that the people around the coastline are finding things difficult because of coastline erosion that has sacked many households in the area.

He said that the fish in there coastline have started dying again as no one could state the main cause of that. As the people’s life are been threatened also.

Wailers urged people to stop throwing plastics into the sea, as that can equally be harmful to aquatic life.

He called on the Bayelsa Govt. to also create an enabling environment for fishers as they are passing through difficulty, even in the aspect of global warming.




Source: News Express

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