Healthy oceans are must for healthy planet

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Staff Report KHI: The World Ocean Day is celebrated each year on June 8 with the aim to create awareness amongst people about significance of oceans. This years theme is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet.”

Pakistan has now extended its authority to 350 nautical miles from the coast as the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) had unanimously approved Pakistans claim for the extension of outer limits of its continental shelf adding 50,000 sq. km to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which extends from 200 nautical from its coastline.

Rab Nawaz, Regional Director ,WWF-Pakistan said, “The extended boundary has added more responsibility for Pakistan to astutely exploit the natural resources found in coastal and offshore waters.”

He further said that Pakistan was among 175 out of 206 sovereign states, which were blessed with an access to ocean. Pakistan, which has a coastline of 1,050km extending between Sir Creek on east and Gwadar Bay in the west, is known for its rich natural resources.

Muhammad Moazzam Khan, technical adviser at WWF-Pakistan emphasized that all maritime nations, including Pakistan, must not consider sea as ultimate dump for its wastes, both sewage and solid waste.

He further said, “The oceans not only regulate the climate but are also source of food, water, oxygen, pharmaceuticals, and many people rely on ocean for their livelihood. It is noticed that because of rapid increase in population and habitat degradation, the health of ocean, at least around Karachi, was in extremely bad condition.

Muhammad Moazzam Khan also highlighted the initiatives taken by WWF-Pakistan for conservation of marine life, protection of threatened habitats, proper management of living and non-living resources as well as addressing the livelihood issue of the coastal communities.

It is must for all to take the responsibility to care for the ocean, protect its biodiversity and rationally utilize it resources, he added.

It is noteworthy that dumping of untreated industrial and domestic sewage has radically increased to 435 million gallons/day whereas large quantity of solid waste is dumped in the sea every day which has resulted in alarming pollution in Karachi harbour, Gharo Phitti Creek system and adjacent areas which is matter of serious concern.


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