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Fishermen at Tema in the Greater Accra Region are advocating for a complete ban on plastic and rubber production in the country.

This follows the continuous pollution of the ocean and the endangering of aquatic life by plastic waste.

Waste management in the country over the years has not been the best as environmental pollution, especially plastics, has been a worrying situation for successive governments to address.

The beaches have become the final resting place for plastic waste. This plastic waste also heavily silt drains and eventually enter the sea, causing marine pollution and endangering aquatic life.

Of greater concern are fish consuming microplastics resulting from broken pieces of plastic waste carried into the ocean during downpours.

A 2018 study conducted by Wright et al on environmental pollution reveals that, once ingested, microplastic fragments may have effects on fish, such as damaging or blocking the digestive tract, or suppressing energy uptake.

For artisanal fishermen at Tema in the Greater Accra Region, the continuous pollution of the ocean by plastic waste is taking a toll on their activities.

Plastics are harvested instead of fish.

The consideration of a total ban on plastic production in the country has been called for by the fishermen.

Some canoe owners overwhelmed by the situation of plastic pollution in the sea, want government to compel the plastic producers to produce only biodegradable products else force them to cease operation.

The Chief Fisherman of Tema, Nii Odamitey II, who corroborated the call by his colleagues, also blamed fishermen for contributing to the plastic pollution in the ocean.

He said,” gone were the days when fishermen fetch water into gallons and take to sea, but now they drink sachet water after which they throw the rubber into the sea.”

He wants immediate measures to remedy the plastic and rubber pollution to safeguard ocean resources.

At the shores, domestic garbage now serves as sea defense following the destruction of their abodes by rough tides.

Other coastal communities in the country also face the same situation.

The shores of Half Assini, Shama, and other landing beaches in the Western Region are also engulfed in plastic filth, requiring drastic policies to curb it.

By Stanley Nii Blewu