A Community engagement programme has been organized at Bortianor, a fishing community in the Greater Accra Region, as part of activities making this year's World Oceans Day in Ghana.
The objective of the engagement was to encourage responsible, safe, and clean fishing practices that aim to promote ocean conservation.
The engagement provided the opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the benefits that oceans provide and emphasize individual and collective responsibilities to sustainably manage the oceans in ways that meet current needs without compromising those of future generations.
The programme was organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the government of the United States of America's Feed the Future Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) in partnership with the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen's Council (GNCFC), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Fisheries Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA).
Addressing members of the community in Accra on Saturday, Mr Carl Fiati, Head, Natural Resource, EPA, underscored the importance of maintaining a healthy ocean, without which, he said, the survival of humanity could not be sustained.
Mr Fiati said a healthy ocean would ensure a clean air and food security and that pollution of the oceans threatened the survival of humanity.
He urged all Ghanaians to adopt responsible waste disposal practices, adding that notwithstanding the fact that World Oceans Day was an annual affair, cleanliness and good sanitation practices should be part and parcel of their daily lives.
Furthermore, he said, about 90 per cent of global trade was conducted using the oceans as a means of transport and, therefore, the destruction of the oceans would negatively affect world trade and global economies, leading to poverty.
In her remarks, Mad. Patience Akasreku, Municipal Environmental Health Officer, GSMA, noted that any form of pollution destroyed the quality of the sea and advised members of the community against open defaecation.
Mad. Kasreku urged residents to approach the GSMA for support in building toilets in their homes.
World Oceans Day, observed on the 8th Day of June, every year, was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly for the world to reflect on the connection between human beings and the oceans, and to appreciate that human well-being depends on the state of health of the oceans.
World Oceans Day 2017 was celebrated globally on the theme: 'Our Oceans, Our Future' while at the local level, the theme was 'Our seas, Sustaining Livelihoods, Securing our Future'.
This year's World Oceans Day focused on the need to adopt responsible fishing practices and refrain from light fishing, the use of monofilament nets and chemicals, and the disposal of plastic waste into the ocean.
Ghana joined the commemoration of the Day last year.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)