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Marine pollution appraisal for Fiji

Simione Haravanua
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

THE assessment of marine pollution status in Fiji and the Pacific region is in the pipeline.

This was highlighted at the Symposium on Future International Co-operation and Human Resource Development in Marine Science and Fisheries held at the USP's Japan-Pacific ICT Centre on Monday.

Discussions were held on how to tackle marine ecosystem issues and solutions were offered on how to stop damage to marine ecosystems.

The deputy head of USP School of Marine Studies, Dr Mata Ferreira, said an assessment on marine pollution would soon begin.

"We have detected micro plastics in different places, we know that oil and fire are relatively working together," she said.

"We have detected this in fish. This makes this research very interesting because it involves the lives of every human being in the world and in the South Pacific.

"At the moment we are working on the research, so we can get the assessment of marine pollution in Fiji and the Pacific region," said Dr Ferreira.

She said people in the South Pacific, especially Fiji, should start to prepare awareness for marine pollution.

"I think it's very important the ocean is the final sink for everything that we release," Dr Ferreira said.

Early detection of metals and micro plastics by the marine school students has set the platform for the research.

Dr Ferreira added that it is important that the data they have has to be updated.

"We have this previous data from the 1990s," she said.

"It has metals and things with marine litter as well.

"The release of chemicals into our oceans will cause more harm to the marine ecosystem, leaving people with no choice but to eat poisoned fish.

"We use too many chemicals in our daily lives. If whatever goes to the landfills later goes into our oceans then sad to say it will end up on our plates," she said.

The symposium ended yesterday with more research set to take place.

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