The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has appealed to stakeholders in the maritime industry to conform to the African Union (AU) 2050 strategic plan designed to protect the region’s marine environment.
A statement signed by the Director General of GMA, Rev. Dr. Peter Issaka Azuma, and issued in Accra to mark this year’s Africa’s Day of the Sea and Oceans, urged players in the industry to ensure that objectives set under the plan were achieved.
It explained that the AU strategic plan, dubbed 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIM Strategy), had been prepared not only to protect the marine environment but also to enhance Africa’s Blue Economy through job creation while effectively utilising the common maritime and coastal resources such as energy and raw materials distribution.
It said it was against this background that the AU through the support of the United Nations (UN) established July 25 as the Africa’s Day of the Sea and Oceans to reflect on the need to ensure the safety of the marine environment and the task given to the International Maritime Organisation to ensure that shipping did not negatively affect the waters across the globe.
That, the statement said, was captured in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 which spelt out the need to ensure a proper code of conduct for the world maritime administration to protect the world’s sea and oceans because of the immeasurable benefits it had to offer to global development.
It indicated that,as part of efforts to meeting international standards, the GMA had over the years stayed focused on its mission of ensuring a clean marine environment by protecting the country’s maritime domain from vessel and other source of pollution.
“This is being regulated by the Maritime Pollution Bill of 2016 under six annexes which include prevention of pollution by oil, control of pollution by noxious liquid substances, harmful substances carried by sea in packages, sewages from ships, gabbage from ships, and air pollution from ships,” it said.
The statement said the GMA had also established the Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) to enhance continuous electronic surveillance of the entire coast of the country.
It therefore assured Ghanaians the commitment of the authority to ensure that the territorial waters of the country were clean for future generations.
By Times Reporter