The Department of Environmental Affairs has joined the worldwide celebration of World Oceans Day, saying that it is tackling the issue of marine pollution.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Department notes that environmental risks are great, and so issues like marine pollution must be dealt with effectively.
Minister Edna Molewa has stated her intention to work with pollution-creating sectors to reduce land-derived emissions. “Since roughly 80% of all marine pollution stems from activities carried out on land, more effort can be focused on tackling land-derived pollution,” adds the Department.
It also plans to embrace the ocean’s wealth to promote economic growth and job creation according to government’s New Development Plan.
“The South African Ocean region is globally recognised as unique and a hotspot of marine biodiversity and has over 10 000 marine species,” it says. “The region is at a unique crossroads. The Atlantic, Southern and Indian Ocean’s fishing grounds are among the healthiest worldwide, and coastal tourism is among the biggest income earners for many countries.”
World Oceans Day is celebrated on the 8th of June each year, and celebrates the world’s oceans’ rich biodiversity and significance while tackling the issues that threaten them.
This year’s theme is “Our Oceans, Our Future”, and focuses on solving the global plastic pollution issue to ensure a brighter marine future.