Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, says it is collaborating with an organisation, Marine and Environment Care, to support an advocacy campaign against marine plastic pollution.
The Rector of the Academy, Commodore Emmanuel Effedua(Rtd) disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.
Effedua said at a public engagement with cadets, members of staff and some invited guests that he was committed to the campaign to end marine plastic debris.
He said that the academy considered it a worthy cause to support, considering that marine plastic pollution was a global concern and institutions around the world were making recognisable efforts at ensuring the oceans became healthy again.
“The Maritime Academy of Nigeria is glad to identify with this programme that is educating the community on the dangers of polluting the seas and oceans, as well as actionable steps that should be taken to end the pollution.
“As an institution connected with the marine environment, it is our responsibility and honour to guard the marine environment so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of the ocean resources.
“The talk about the Blue Economy, which comes from the ocean resources, cannot be complete without taking responsibility of the well-being of the oceans.
“It is the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and its essence is for UN member states to work on mapped out strategies toward achieving the ocean for today and for the future generation,” he said.
Effedua urged the participants not just to leave with the message, but to share it among everyone around them.
Also the resource person, Mrs Hope Orivri, a specialist in communication for human and environmental development, said the core of the engagement was to expose participants to the dangers of marine environment pollution and take appropriate action.
She urged every participant to be worthy ambassadors of the oceans by staying true to the pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic wares than engaging in indiscriminate disposal of waste.
Orivri pointed that marine debris, particularly plastic pollutant come from human activities, due to the fact that people fail to manage their municipal waste properly.
“There is need to understand that it is the activities that humans involve in on land that start the pollution to the seas.
“When used items, including plastic packaging for food and drinks and even cutlery are dumped carelessly after use, such items are swept into the seas by running water or wind.
“The good thing is that we can all agree to take responsibility and begin to save our seas now by cutting out single-use plastics and recycling the ones we must throw away.
“Pollution of the seas is very worrisome, because the pollutants end up in our food chain, beginning with the seafood we eat. Of course, the fishes and marine mammals ingest the plastic thinking it is food,” she said.
The highpoint of the event was the membership registration for a Clean-Up Club.