Captain Etoenyo Onassis Bankas, the General Secretary of the Ghana Merchant Navy Officers Association (GMNOA), has said that the successes chalked up in the implementation of the convention on pollution at seas can be attributed to the seafarers.
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) is the main international convention covering the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
Captain Bankas, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema on the importance of the seafarers in achieving the MARPOL goals, said their contributions were very significant, which is why the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) decided to use the international Day of the Seafarer to look at their contribution to protecting the marine environment.
This, he said, was in line with IMO's theme, "MARPOL at 50: Our Commitment Goes On," as seafarers were big stakeholders in solving marine environment pollution.
"Without the commitment and contributions of the seafarer, MARPOL could not have achieved any succes its 50 years of existence, he added.
He indicated that they ensured strict compliance with the six annexes of the convention to ensure a pollut marine environment for all humans.
The annexes are regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil, regulations for the control of pollution by noxio liquid substances in bulk, prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried in packaged form, prevention of pollution by sewage from ships, prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, and prevention of air pollution ships.
The GMNOA General Secretary further said that on oil spillage, it was their responsibility to ensure that none of the oil they used should be spilled on the sea, adding that in case of any spillage, they also follow procedures to ensure its proper handling.
He said that for air pollution, seafarers always ensured that they carried with them the requisite fuel to use when approaching certain areas to prevent pollution from their ships.
Captain Bankas noted that the GMNOA used the International Day of the Seafarer to reflect on the significance of MARPOL while reiterating their unwavering commitment to preserving the oceans and marine ecosystems for future generations.