…says it might replace fishes in waters by 2050
Indiscriminate dumping of waste into the rivers and oceans by residents living along coastal region is a huge course of concern to the Nigerian Navy Hydrographers as they have warned that if care is not taken, there might be more plastics than fish in the country’s water by 2050.
Even as he also said that the Nigerian Navy has recorded 50 per cent success in the ongoing charting and survey of Rivers Niger and Benue by its hydrographic team.
Based on this, the Hyrographer of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Okafor, noted that conscious efforts should be made to discourage indiscriminate dumping of such waste as they constitute greater risk to aquatic lives.
This strong message from Admiral Okafor was revealed on Tuesday during a press conference at the Western Naval Command, Apapa, as the force prepares to join the rest of the world to mark 2022 World Hydrography Day.
Explaining, that despite the huge benefits offered to mankind by the rivers and ocean, recent human activities are now threats to aquatic lives.
He observed that studies have predicted that tropical coral reefs could disappear by the turn of the century, and that by 2050 there could be more plastics in the oceans than fish.
The theme of this year’s celebration is: “Hydrography: Contributing to the United Nations Ocean Decade.”
According to Admiral Okafor, “The science of hydrography stands out as a major tool to provide policy makers adequate knowledge of the ocean to elicit appropriate governance measures for the conservation of biodiversity, through sustainable use of the ocean.
“As you are aware, no scientific research can take place in any part of the ocean without the use of hydrographic products like nautical charts and publications for safe navigation.
“Hydrography also provides information that facilitates underwater construction, establishment of marine protected areas, coastal zone management, fishing reserves, as well as areas for tourism and recreational boating among others.
“These and many more indispensable contributions of the science of hydrography to the health of the ocean would be highlighted all over the world during the 2022 world hydrography day celebration scheduled to hold on 21 June 2022” he said.
Reiterating the Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Okafor, also revealed that the navigational route in Nigeria has remained moribund for over six decades and that the survey and charting project, when completed, would re-open the inland water navigational route.
Okafor added that the newly inducted 60-meters offshore survey vessel, NNS LANA, has commenced its first ever systematic survey of Nigeria’s coastal and offshore waters, which is expected to further improve the knowledge of the country’s ocean for better management and sustainable use.