Marine habitats at risk

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday 17th April, 2013


MAJOR threats to PNG marine and coastal habitats and resources are increasing every day, says East New Britain governor Ereman ToBaining Jr.

He said this on Monday in Kokopo, East New Britain, during the opening of the first national review of the PNG marine programme on coral reefs, fisheries and food security.

He said the threats included:

l Overfishing and overharvesting of marine resources;

l Climate change in terms of sea level rise and ocean water body warming;

l Coastal and marine habitat destruction; and

l Pollution from human induced activities.

“The intensity of these threats is increasing every day,” he said.

He told participants that it was also important for stakeholders to realise that poorly managed land use and uncontrolled discharges contributed to the degradation of the marine system.

He said like other countries in the region and in the coral triangle, PNG’s coral reefs and coastal and marine systems were under threat from the effects of climate change.

ToBaining said the average population growth rate of 3.5% in the past ten years imposed greater demand on the resources.

He said more than 90% of coastal resources were under customary ownership.

“In the past, customary knowledge was applied in the day to day management of these marine resources,” he said.

He added due to increasing demand in communities to participate in the cash economy as opposed to subsistence, pressure has been exerted on marine resources.