Makassar, South Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Several priority programs have been initiated for tackling the problem of waste in marine areas and accelerating marine life conservation efforts, according to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry.

"Also campaigning (to encourage people) not to throw plastic waste on land because some ends up going into the sea," Secretary of the ministry’s Directorate General of Marine Space Management Kusdiantoro said here on Saturday.

According to him, 50 percent of plastic waste originating from the land goes into the sea.

"Looking at this condition, it is necessary to handle plastic waste not only in the sea, but also from the downstream level or from the land," he said at a seminar on sustainable products for waste treatment and their impact on Indonesia's biodiversity.

The influx of plastic waste from land into the sea is very dangerous, he said, because it can pollute tourist areas and affect marine life.

The presence of microplastics and even nanoplastics in marine areas could put the life of fish at risk, which could eventually threaten human health.

To respond to this problem, the ministry has expanded city-based measured marine fishing areas and is developing coastal cultivation and conservation areas.

To handle the waste problem, the ministry is using Law No. 18 of 2008 concerning Waste Management, Kusdiantoro said.

The ministry is also strengthening security, supervision, and mitigation, and involving women and young people in promoting the importance of saving the environment.

Therefore, Kusdiantoro appealed to all parties to develop strategies to increase public awareness on preventing waste from entering the sea, cleaning up waste in marine areas, as well as conduct monitoring, supervision, and law enforcement.

One of the campaigns launched by the ministry for cleaning up waste from the seas is the National Movement for the Love of the Sea Month (Gernas BCL), which began in 2022.

The government aimed to reduce 38.5 percent of sea waste by the end of 2022 as part of its larger goal of removing 70 percent of marine debris by 2025.

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Translator: Suriani M, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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