3rd INCOFIMS, ecologist declares plastic waste emergency in Asia-Pacific

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3rd International Conference on Fisheries and Marine Science (INCOFIMS). (Doc. Ivan Syahrial)

UNAIR NEWS – The issue of environmental degradation is one of the many challenges that must be faced in order to develop a sustainable aquaculture sector. It is undeniable that increasing industrial and household activities has significant negative impact on the environment and fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

As a response to this issue, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (FPK) Universitas Airlangga held 3rd International Conference on Fisheries and Marine Science (INCOFIMS) on ” Challenges and Strategies for Development of Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries, Thursday, September 10, 2020. The conference carried out via Zoom media, was attended by various groups, from researchers, students to lecturers of various universities.

Prof. Andrew Greig Jeffs, who was one of the main speakers revealed that one of the most dangerous marine pollutants is plastic waste. Nearly 8 billion tons of plastic waste is dumped into the sea every year and Indonesia is classified in the red zone for plastic waste producers because plastic waste production is > 20% of the total world plastic waste.

“Plastic is the biggest polluter in the world, nearly 8 billion tons of plastic dumped to the sea and Asia Pacific is the area with the highest percentage,” said the ecologist and marine expert from University of Auckland, New Zealand. “If this is not intervened, then in 2050 the amount of plastic waste in the oceans will be more than the number of fish,” he added.

According to Andrew, there are 3 steps to reduce plastic waste pollution. The first is to develop a method for detecting and counting plastics at sea. Second, reduce plastic toxicity by making plastic environmentally friendly. As well as studying the physico-chemical reactions of plastics.

“There are three keys to reducing plastic waste, creating detection methods, reducing toxicity when making plastics and studying the interaction between plastic and the environment,” said Andrew.

Closing his presentation, in addition to the issue of waste, Andrew also revealed that to develop sustainable aquaculture, more extensive research on the challenges and opportunities of aquaculture issues is needed, a strong research base and innovation in the aquaculture sector and collaboration from researchers around the world should be well-established.

“To realize a sustainable aquaculture, it is necessary to build a strong research and innovation base as well as broader research related to aquaculture issues and the most important is collaboration of all world researchers,” he concluded. (*)

Author: Ivan Syahrial Abidin

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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