Fishermen and Civil Society Groups are calling for more action to tackle the problem of plastic pollution which they say is threatening lives and the fishing business.
At a clean-up exercise at James Town, a fishing community in Accra to mark world environment day, Chief Fisherman in the area Nii Ayi Bli expressed concern the problem is negatively impacting catch for a lot of fisher folks and they are taking steps to deal with clamp down on the situation.
“Even though the situation of plastic littering and indiscriminate dumping is alarming and affect the quality of fish harvest, we have taken measures to stage major community clean-ups once in three months to rid their community of filth,” he said.
Over the years, research has shown the continuous declining rate in production of the fishing industry.
One of the contributing factors contributing to this annual decline is poor sanitary conditions along the beach and plastic littering which affects the quality of fishes. Despite various intervention programs, the problem has persisted.
The Executive Director NGO Help Change Ghana which organized the cleanup exercise Elijah Kojo Mensah noted ‘polluting plastics come in varying sizes of large and small that can even affect the tiniest creature.
When these organisms become poisoned due to plastic ingestion, it poses a lot of problem to a larger organism such as fish which depend on them for food.”
“This would eventually reach humans with health risks that would harm lives,” he added.
Mr Mensah said community members have a responsibility to organize regular community cleanups and institute a volunteers fun club to sustain the cleanups.
Public Relations Officer of Help Change Ghana, Ebenezer Annoh, who spoke at the event noted, “plastic littering ends up in waterways which are eventually carried to sea to destroy marine biodiversity.
“Therefore, the only solution to improve the quality of fish harvest is to bin litter, re-use waste and educate others on the menace.” He called on communities to clean, protect wildlife and safeguard water bodies for a sustainable living.
The cleanup exercise which lasted 4 hours witnessed the full participation of some 95 community members in both the education process and clean-up exercise.