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Listen: Erosion, marine plastic pollution and turtle poachers along Akassa coastlines


Welcome! This is ‘At The Marina Today.’

I am your host Hope Orivri.

On this edition of the programme, marine turtle conservationist, Raynus Henry Ebiegberi,  who is in Minibie in Akassa, shares with us about the devastation by erosion along the coastlines of Akassa in Bayelsa state.

Raynus is the Secretary General and coordinator of the West African Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WASTCON), also talks with us on the problem of marine plastic pollution as well as on the dangerous activities of poachers in that area.

WASTCON is the group that coordinates the turtle actors from Nigeria to Mauritania on the West African coast.

Coastal communities in Akassa, Bayelsa state are  dealing with a lot of environmental issues at this time; the problem of climate change occasioned by rising sea level,  problem of erosion cutting the beach areas and displacing communities, marine plastic pollution, which is harming  marine life,  and poachers who would not allow the turtle eggs alone.

Raynus has been engaging with his community and other neighbouring towns sensitising them on the importance of marine turtle conservation. But, this is a very tough job as Raynus shares, “sensitisation has been going on and so much community engagement, but the locals keep attacking the turtle nesting areas for the eggs,” he said. “They go for the eggs, saying it is nutritious, while they say the turtle itself smells.”

His fear about the poaching is heightened by the continued activities of commercial motorbike operators who move people along the coastal communities.

He believes that the effort to check these u scrupulous activities would keep progressing and not necessarily through any kind of incentives. “We are not offering any kind of incentives to convince the people about fully embracing conservation. If we do, there would be problem whenever we are not able to give them. That doesn’t mean that we cannot give support if and when we have the means to do so, but we are not putting that forward,” Raynus said.

The concerns about the plastic pollution seem overwhelming because plastics are migratory on water, moving  with the tide along the coast.


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