The EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E Sujiro Seam led this important initiative and was joined by the Fiji's Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Hon: Alipate Nagata, Chargé d'affaires, Embassy of Spain to Fiji, Mr. Daniel Montilla, Suva City Council, Senior Health Officer, Mr. Wally Atalifo, EU Delegation and ministry staff, youth volunteers, media and family and friends of the EU.
The Ocean is the heart of the planet. It provides us with food, jobs, life and entertainment, without it, we cannot survive. Ocean also produces most of the oxygen we breathe and absorb 30% of the carbon we emit. But marine litter or pollution is a great threat to our oceans. Ten million tonnes of marine litter annually ends up in the sea. It is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in its waters.
''The European Union and its Member States are committed to protecting the oceans and seas, while ensuring their sustainable use. This action stands to prove that everybody, individually and collectively, can take concrete action to address the issue of marine litter. Not only by cleaning our beaches and coasts, but also committing to a more sustainable lifestyle – by reducing plastic consumption, reusing and recycling. The beach clean-up today underlines the readiness of EU staff to take concrete action as concerned citizens to take better care of Our Ocean.'' said Ambassador Seam.
The EU calls on all public administrations and communities in the Pacific to host similar events to raise awareness about the growing and alarming phenomenon of marine pollution.