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More work needed for a clean Pacific: PIDF

August 23, 2018 9:57 pm

The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has commended the recent second Clean Pacific Roundtable High level meeting for a pollution free Pacific that emphasizes that it is equally essential that we as individuals make more sensible choices that are less detrimental to our environment.

PIDF’s Secretary General Francois Martel noted that it is evident that there is still lots that needs to be done to stop the waves of plastic ocean but also there has been remarkable leadership shown by the Pacific in terms of taking proactive measures especially in terms of environmental stewardship and sustainable growth.

PIDF chaired a session on the implementation and innovative actions for combating marine debris, plastics and micro-plastics at the Clean Pacific round-table.

The SG also highlighted that the surging momentum in global efforts to address plastic pollution is indeed commendable but there are actions that policy makers can take to improve waste management, promote eco-friendly alternatives, educate consumers, enable voluntary reduction strategies and successfully implement bans or levies on the use and sale of single-use plastics.

The PIDF Secretary General also highlighted a growing concern in the form of “ghost fishing gear”.

Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear has become a huge problem in our oceans. Fishing gear lost from boats accounts for 10 percent of all the plastic currently in the ocean. Some 640,000 tons of ghost gear enter the world’s oceans every year and can mutilate and kill marine animals for many years afterward.

According to a published research, lost and discarded fishing gear and nets, more commonly referred to as ghost gear, makes up close to 70 percent of all macro-plastics in our ocean while a recent research from scientists affiliated with The Ocean Cleanup movement has revealed that 46 percent of litter in the ever growing floating island of plastic waste, the North Pacific Garbage Patch are fishing gear.