The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has inaugurated Marine Litter Marshals to assist it in ridding the oceans of unwanted waste materials that could cause environmental degradation and also impede safety of navigation on the nation’s territorial waters.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside while speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the first phase with 120 marshals held at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre in Lagos, urged Nigerians on the sustainable use of the ocean resources and added that there are so many activities dependent on the ocean; hence the need to ensure it is clean and properly utilized.
“The state of health of the ocean is related to the state of our health and our economy; therefore we must stop the indiscriminate dumping of materials in our ocean. NIMASA as the agency of government responsible for Marine Environment Management in its continuous quest to reposition the Nigerian maritime sector in line with global best practices has taken the step to engage some young Nigerians as marine litter marshals who are expected to ensure that the oceans are kept clean and safe,” he said.
Peterside further said that the marine litter directly impacts on ocean life, marine habitats, human health, and navigational safety with potential impacts on socio-economic development of nations.
He stressed that it necessitated the agency to collaborate with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Partnership Action (GPA) in 2015 to carry out a scientific study on marine litter challenge in Nigeria, thereby culminating to the development of the national action plan on marine litter and its campaign concept.