Accra, The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) on Thursday sensitised fisherforks at the Tema Canoe Fishing Harbour on the need to keep the ocean clean.
The programme was organised as part of preparation towards the Ocean Conference, slated for Monday, June 5 to Friday, June 9, in New York.
The New York Ocean Conference would kick start with World Environment Day, June 5 and Integrate World Ocean Day celebrations, June 8.
The Ocean Conference is on the theme: “Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)14”.
The SDG 14 seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The conference aims to be the game changer that would reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity.
It would be solutions-focused with engagement from all.
Ocean pollution is the spreading of harmful substances such as oil, plastic, industrial and agricultural waste and chemical particles into the ocean.
The fisherfolks sensitisation programme was organised by UNIC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Zoomlion and Abibimman Foundation.
The event organisers and the fisherfolks took three hours to clean the beaches around the Tema Canoe Fishing Harbour.
Ms Cynthia Prah, the National Information Officer at UNIC, said the ocean contains a huge number of biodiversity resources, which mankind depends upon for our livelihood.
She said polluting the ocean had serious implications for both aquatic and human lives.
She advised the fisherfolks and the public to desist from dumping plastics and other waste materials into the ocean and other water bodies.
Ms Prah said it was the responsibility of all and sundry to play their part in making the oceans clean so that marine species could survive.
Mr Ndiaga Guaye, the Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, called for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and marine resources.
Mr Dela Kemevor, the Deputy Director, Administration, Ministry of Health, explained that pollution of water bodies would led to chemicals entering the food chain through the fisheries resources, which would eventually enter into humans.
He attributed the rising levels of cancer diseases in humans to chemical substations entering the food chain.
He said marine pollution caused the depletion of the oxygen content of the oceans which would lead to the deaths of aquatic animals like sharks, whales and turtles.
Ms Heather Troctman, Urban Planner, Waste Management, Guest Researcher, UNDP also advised the fishermen and fishmongers to desist from throwing plastics and other waste materials into the sea.
She suggested to them to gather the plastic materials and send them to recycling plants for recycling into other products.
Mr John Scott Apawudza, the Greater Accra Regional Director of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, said the ocean had no boundaries and its pollution effects affected all nations.
He said there was the need for sustainable use of marine resources for the benefit of posterity.
A Fisherman, Mr Dennis Adjei, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, hailed the UN for sensitising them on the need to keep the sea clean.
He appealed to his fellow fisherfolks to help keep the sea and the beaches clean.
Source: Ghana News Agency