Namibia

Coastal development threatens marine life – Namibian

Charlene Bock

Construction on the coast and environmental pollution are the biggest threat to marine life.

Bridget James, a student of the Namibia Dolphin Project, revealed this to The Namibian recently about the activities planned for World Oceans Day, which was celebrated globally yesterday.

James added that environmental pollutants that threaten marine life include plastic and noise in the environment from ships and construction in the oceans, and chemical pollution, which includes the treatment of chemical waste.

“The effect of such modifications may be subtle,” James noted, adding that noise in the environment affects the animals. According to James, dolphins are affected the most because they are sensitive to noise and end up migrating to quiet areas.

The long-term effect of chemical pollution is that it affects the survival or success of the cub. female mammals [such as dolphins] They take a long time to mature before they give birth to their first calves, and they absorb pollutants during feeding because many pollutants pass through biostimulation. She said pollutants are transferred from one consumer to another.

James said that as part of the celebration of World Oceans Day, they will be visiting several local schools to educate students on how this year’s theme “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” relates to their lives and livelihoods.

“For conservation to be successful, people need to be aware of the animals and the impacts people have on the marine environment in order to conserve,” James stressed.

James claims that many coastal residents do not fully appreciate the diversity of species in Namibia.

Throughout the year, the Dolphin Project collects and analyzes data about dolphins to determine if there have been changes in these animals, and to identify environmental factors that may have caused those shifts.

Nodd Dreyer, co-founder of Ocean Conservation in Namibia, added that plastics remain a major concern for coastal nature advocates.

He said marine animals such as fur seals are entangled in plastic such as nets, fishing lines and packing tapes that end in the ocean.

His organization is untangling these animals and removing plastic from the ocean.

“We are considering doing a beach cleanup in Kuisebmond or a livestream of one of our seal rescues [missions] at Pelican Point via YouTube,” Dreyer said.

He added that they are also implementing awareness programs to teach schools online due to Covid-19.

The Namibian Dolphin Project, Namibia Nature Foundation/Albatross Task Force and Youth Ambassadors from the current Benguela Committee will have outreach activities in Swakopmund and Valvis Bay tomorrow and Sunday.

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