Mr John Scott Apawudza, Greater Accra Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, has said there is the need to use the resources of the ocean sustainably.
Fishes are a main source of our livelihood, hence the need to conserve every resource in the sea, he said.
He said this on Thursday during a clean-up campaign organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Accra in collaboration with Abibiman Foundation, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ministry of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency at the Tema Fishing Harbour.
The clean-up exercise was aimed at sensitizing the fishing community and the general public on the impact of human activities in terms of plastic waste and other forms of refuse on our seas, livelihood and health.
Ms Heather Troutman, a Research fellow, Urban Planning, United Nations Development and Programme, said there is also the need to stop the burning of plastics in the community.
There are plenty of plastic refuse and there are no places to dispose of them, she said adding that the inability to control these plastics is a problem we must deal with.
She said the burning of plastic waste is dangerous especially to women because it affected unborn babies and urged the fisher-folks to keep the plastics for later recycling.
Mr Dela Kemevor, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Health, said the “pollution of our oceans destroyed the oxygen content of the ocean and this has led to the destruction of some life in the sea.
He said many cases of cancer recorded in the world were as a result of what we eat and the effects of environmental pollution “this is why we have to protect the environment”.
Mr Ndiaga Gueye, Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Office for Africa, expressed happiness that the nation has given fishery sector the deserved attention.
He said there was the need to fight illegal fishing in order to sustain our livelihood.
Mr Prolo Dalla Stella, Programme Specialist (Sustainable Development) for the UNDP, said the annual production of fish in the country has reduced hence the need to fight various concerns including illegal or over-fishing, mercury pollution of the ocean and dumping of waste in the sea.
He said “the main issue is about pollution. There are a lot of plastic and human waste that are channeled directly into the sea and when fishermen draw back their nets, they get more plastic waste than fishes- and this is a big problem,” he said.