Today the 8 of june 2021 we celebrate the World Ocean Day. The purpose of this date is to recall the importance of the oceans for the balance of life on planet Earth. And, for this, several activities are carried out to raise awareness in society about the dangers currently faced by the oceans.
The oceans make up two-thirds of the Earth’s surface and are the planet’s main thermal regulator, in addition to being the planet’s largest source of oxygen, contrary to popular belief about forests. Today, the big challenge is to minimize the impact that human activities are having on the oceans. With over 90% of the fish population depleted and 50% of the corals destroyed, we are at a point where returns are almost impossible. Humans are taking more from ecosystems than their ability to re-establish themselves.
This year, the ephemeris is celebrated under the motto: “The oceans: life and livelihood”.
Pollution affects all marine ecosystems and mainly affects species such as turtles, dolphins and fish, causing accidents, injuries, suffocation and deaths in species that are important for the balance of the oceans, reaching humans through the food chain and beyond. Containing marine pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our day, the uncontrolled use of plastics has been one of the biggest battles for this environment, followed by oil exploration. This problem is directly linked in many cities to the mismanagement of urban solid waste. A large percentage of marine waste originates from land, generated by industries, businesses, homes and hospitals, but the aggravating factor of marine pollution is the excess of waste caused by high consumption in urban centers and its discharge into the sea.
It is estimated that by 2050 we will have more plastics than living species/fish in the oceans (In a study released in 2016 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with McKinsey consultancy). In Mozambique, it is estimated that about 2.5 million tons of urban solid waste are generated per year, 10% of which is plastic waste and a considerable part goes to the oceans.
Livaningo is for the protection and conservation of the oceans, which is why it understands that the Government of Mozambique should make redoubled efforts for better control over the waste that ends up in the sea, as well as a better surveillance strategy to avoid overexploitation of fisheries that the country meets. There is a need to look very carefully at coastal management in the cities of Beira, Maputo and Pemba.
In Mozambique, fishing is an activity of significant economic, social and cultural importance. It contributes to improving food security and around 20% of the Mozambican population depends on fishing as a source of income.
In February of this year, 111 dead dolphins were found in the Bazaruto archipelago, of Inhambane, and the causes of the disaster were not clear enough, so Livaningo believes that it is time for authorities and society in general to pay more attention to marine and coastal resources, especially given that some of our species, which were once abundant, are now in special protection categories.
The Government, the institutions that oversee, control and supervise the sea in Mozambique, civil society organizations, associations and communities in general must together be increasingly rigorous in their awareness of the impact that human actions are having, to that together we develop a movement for sustainable management of the oceans.
Executive Director of Livaningo