The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, unveiled, this morning, in the context of United Nations (UN) World Oceans Day 2023, an informative sign board near the site earmarked for the construction of the Balaclava Marine Park Centre. The theme retained for UN World Oceans Day this year is Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing.
Other activities were also on the agenda, namely: the launching of a poster and pamphlets on stingers; the release of juvenile fish into the Balaclava lagoon; and a demonstration on the assessment of marine ecosystem health.
In his address, Minister Maudhoo highlighted that Government, the private sector and the population at large are all responsible for the protection of our oceans. There is thus a need to ensure that decision makers, scientists, private sector executives, civil society representatives, indigenous communities, and youth activists, amongst others, put the ocean first and preserve it, he observed.
Furthermore, the Minister outlined that oceans are the lungs of our planet as they produce more than 50% of our oxygen and absorb around 30% of carbon dioxide. Oceans, he stated, also connect the World as far as movement of goods is concerned and are essential for our survival.
Speaking about the Balaclava Marine Park Centre, Minister Maudhoo underscored that it will provide adequate space for scientists to monitor the marine park of Balaclava. Building plans are currently being finalised and the construction of the Centre is expected to start in the near future, he added.
It is recalled that the UN World Oceans Day was officially launched at the UN General Assembly back in 2008 and has been celebrated since 2009 on every 8th of June. It provides an opportunity to honour, help protect and conserve the ocean, as well as to better understand how to interact with it in a sustainable manner. This year, the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping has embarked on a series of sensitisation and educational programmes on oceans which target schools, universities, the fishermen community, and the public at large.