PROTECTION OF MARINE ENVIRONMENT: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY?
Akaso, A. A.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
Marine environment include the oceans and all seas and adjacent coastal areas that form an integrated whole that is an essential component of the global lifesupport system and a positive asset that presents opportunities for sustainable development. Pollution of the marine environment is the introduction by man, directly or indirectly of substance or energy into the environment, including estuaries, which results or is likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities. This study examined the question of who is responsible for the protection of the marine environment. It employed a descriptive research methodology; and the research findings indicate that the major threats to health, productivity and biodiversity of marine environment result from human activities on land, in coastal areas and further inland. The protection and prevention is the cornerstone of any sound environmental management programme and the most economic and effective means of limiting the adverse environmental consequences of oil pollution incidents from ships. Accordingly, the ship-owner's responsibility of protecting the marine environment is embedded in the concept of seaworthiness at the initial stage of the contract agreement with the chatterer.