The 5 biggest threats to West Africa’s oceans – and what to do about them

Plastic bottles and other waste are some of the contaminants destroying the oceans. Issouf Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

The natural resources that form ocean ecosystems can play a significant role in the socio-economic growth and development of nations.

West Africa has a variety of marine and coastal ecosystems, found within the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the most diverse and economically important fishing zones in the world and provides an income for many through fishing, shipping, logistics and mining.

But unregulated and unsustainable exploitation has degraded the ecosystems severely. Threats have come from land based sources of pollution, insecurity and piracy, illegal and harmful fishing practices, and climate change.

These multiple stressors have had a negative impact on the ecological integrity and health of West Africa. They are causing an alarming decline in fishery resources, loss of coral reefs and seashells, coastal erosion, ocean acidity and rising sea levels.

Aderonke Omolara Lawal-Are, The Conversation, 11 October 2022. Full article.

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