This year’s world oceans day was marked with call to action for ocean protection especially against the threat of plastics. Guided by the theme, “Preventing Plastic Pollution and encouraging solutions for a Healthy Ocean,” we took to our shoreline along Kanamai-kikambala for a beach clean up exercise.
Being exporters of ornamental tropical marine fish & invertebrates, we are highly dependent on the Indian Ocean as our fish source and therefore it is vital that we help conserve it and the entire ecosystem. Our oceans increasingly face numerous threats such as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, unsustainable and destructive fishing practices and the lack of capacities to address these threats. Aside from depending on it for or livelihood, we are committed to helping implement the Sustainable Development Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The waste we came across included plastics, lots of shoes (made of bothrubber and plastic) cardboards and glass. Of the three, plastics pose the greatest threat to oceans because of our poor waste management habits. Plastics are washed by runoff to the ocean thereby polluting our marine ecosystem. A recycling framework is needed in order to prevent plastic pollution in the ocean.
We are glad that we were also able to engage our local community in the cleanup exercise helping mop up plastics from the environment.
Going forward, we must continue to promote sustainable use of oceans even as we continue to use safe traditional fishing methods to collect our ornamental fish. Our collective resolve together with or stakeholders should aim at finding solutions to common problems. We can ensure that our oceans are peaceful, safe and bountiful, and remain healthy as our blue home.