Ship spills contribute to pollutionYemen’s marine life needs better protection [Archives:2004/736/Health]

May 10 2004

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
There are many existential threats, which could be linked or attributed to polluting the marine environment. Such threats are directly associated with the use of ships for transport.
All kinds of ships, whether they are used for the transport of consumer goods, tourists, oil, etc. or are used for marine hunting constitute constant dangers to the marine environment simply in the event of a sudden collision or the inevitably sinking of a ship.
The loaded materials such as oil or other substances or the ships' fuels would subsequently be spilled directly into the water.
Furthermore, considerable amounts of harmful solid and liquid substances and spoiled and expired goods are frequently dumped into the seas and oceans, legally or illegally.
Sometimes the waste of nuclear fuel is buried inside the seas and oceans, which is considered a time-bomb to the marine environment in case of leakage.
In addition, the increase of marine commercial activities lead to the transformation of critically vital coastal areas into tourists attractions, in order to lure more tourists without taking into consideration binding obligations to protect and preserve the equilibrium of nature.
Consequently the marine environment is threatened more.
The primary sources of pollution in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden do not come from the inland, but rather from ships, the exploration of oil and the transport of it, since these vital activities are the sources of economic revenues to the countries of the region.
In order to ease and to reduce the extent of pollution and threats of these operations, the demand on skillful special emergency rescue teams on oil spots, for example, has increased.
The countries on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden announced the formation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Authority in 1995. A regional agreement was ratified by Arab countries located on the Red Sea in 1992, but the stipulated activities have begun only in recent years.
Serious discussions have been taking place to find correct methods to organize the marine navigation to reduce the risks to the marine environment.
In order to guarantee a safe marine environment, all the related authorities must work according to their specialties in all aspects.
And to work with each other in order to ensure the prevention of illegal practices and to impose the dominance of laws toward a safe marine environment free from any kind of pollution.