Oil wells in Persian Gulf threaten marine ecology
KARACHI: Speakers emphasised on a robust management system in place with the utilisation of vital resources, both human and natural, to tap conservation of the marine resources at hand.
They were speaking on Saturday in a regional workshop on Sustainable Marine Resources organised by World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) at a local hotel here.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ejaz Ahmad, Senior Director WWF–P said that Arabian Sea was a significant eco-region with potential marine resources. He further said that they had proposed a project that would focus on achieving political commitment, shared vision and institutional capacity demonstrated for joint ecosystem-based management for marine resources. This would be achieved through regional collaboration between neighboring countries and institutionalizing research and policy for moving on-the-ground tangible actions implemented in water quality, quantity, fisheries and coastal habitat demonstration.
Talking about regional alliance Rab Nawaz Director Sindh WWF–P said that alliance is not a political mandate or hidden agenda of WWF–P but they were here to build a better world where custodians of coastal areas live decent life and use resources in sustainable manner. He also said that WWF–P focuses on strengthening existing conservation mechanisms and introduce regional approach in North Indian Ocean (NIO). He remarked that unsustainable fishing is the major challenge that will be tackled with help of the multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Tooraj Valinassab, a Senior Fisheries Researcher from Iran, said that 15,000 shipping operations are done annually and considerable number of oil wells has been noticed in the Persian Gulf which are threatening the marine ecology and causing pollution.
He noted that fisheries management is practiced separately whereas concerted efforts involving neighboring countries should be taken to come up with uniform strategy. “Illegal fishing is a matter of great concern whereby Iranian fishermen smuggle fish catch to Kuwait instead of selling it in Iranian market”, he added. He emphasized that regional cooperation would play significant role in addressing the trans-boundary issues and help in effective management of marine resources.
A presentation on the sailing in difficult waters of Somalia was explained by Moazzam Khan, Technical Advisor Marine Fisheries WWF – Pakistan; on behalf of Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Iman, Director General Fisheries and Environment, Ministry of Nation Resources Somalia. The presentation revealed that the piracy in Somalia is a major concern for the international community. Moreover, he said that piracy has become booming business where one can become rich within short span of time.
He also noted that marine resources of Somalia are getting contaminated. He mentioned that illegal foreign ships are dumping vast barrel chemicals, cadmium and other nuclear materials which are increasing the pollution and threatening the marine life. He said that cadmium causes severe pain in bones and kidney problems. He confessed that they have limited capacity to safeguard the coastal areas form these illegal vessels. Giving closing remarks Rab Nawaz Director Sindh, WWF-P emphasized the need for purposeful efforts for saving shared resources of our region and added that the regional countries should work together to be a collective voice in the field of marine conservation and sustainable resources.