The marine ecosystem hosts about 80% of the world’s biodiversity and also supports other lifeforms on land. We need clean and healthy creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans to support our own health and survival and we cannot afford to let corporations gamble with and privatise our oceans through exploration/exploitation and pollutions. Importance of the marine ecosystems and freshwater systems. Fishing is a source of livelihood, and a critical source of animal protein for the people. The informal economy provides 50-75% employment in many African countries. The informal sector contributes 60% to the GDP in Nigeria. Fisheries sector employs up to 12 million people in Africa (58% in fishing and 42% in processing). The fisheries sector is clearly a major informal subsection that contributes to the provision of protein as well as supporting the livelihoods of millions of Africans. This sector is made up of artisanal fishers, producers and processors.

This sector is under threat from forces that impact aquatic ecosystems and generally misuse water bodies – rivers, creeks, lakes – that provide freshwater systems. The threats come from ballast from ships, dams, dredging, canalisation for infrastructure and industrial activities, oil spill, toxic waste dumps and others. The consequences of inaction will include the destruction of freshwater systems, entrenched poverty and malnutrition.

There is an urgent need to organise, form partnerships and alliances to monitor and report activities that endangers the aquatic ecosystems – using the reports of our monitoring and reporting as baselines for advocacy.

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