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The study sought to examine the assessment of marine pollution in Nigeria using Port Harcourt Port, in Rivers State as a case study. The study was carried out using a computer-aided design. A total of 200 staff Port Harcourt Port, in Rivers were selected randomly by the researcher as the population of the study. The results showed that marine pollution has a significant impact in the study area. It is believed that at the completion of this study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of maritime industry, as the study seeks to highlight the dangers of marine pollutant on shipping activities; the study will also serve as a pathfinder to students who intend to embark on a study in similar topic as the findings of the research will serve as the pathfinder for them.
1.1 Background of the study
The internationally recognized definition for the marine environment was developed by Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), currently known as Aspects Of Marine Environmental Protection, which states: ‘Introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment (including estuaries) resulting in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources, hazard to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing, impairment of quality for use of sea-water, and reduction of amenities’. Marine pollution is classed as point source or non-point source. Point source pollution occurs when there is a single, identifiable, and localized source of the pollution. That is, “point source” means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. An example is directly discharging sewage (i.e. water-carried waste, in solution or suspension, which is intended to be removed from a community, also known as wastewater) and industrial waste into the ocean Non-point source pollution occurs when the pollution comes from ill-defined and diffuse sources. It arises from a broad group of human activities for which the pollutants have no obvious point of entry into receiving watercourses. Obviously, non-point source pollution is much more difficult to measure, identify and control than point sources. These include agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture, urban runoff (from roofs, streets, parking lots, etc), transportation (roads, railways, pipelines, hydro-electric corridors) etc. Industries and businesses may discharge wastes to street gutters and storm drains. Overloading and malfunction of septic systems lead to surface runoff. Effects of Marine Pollution on coastal environment cum resources such as degradation, damage to ecosystems, damage to the esoteric value of beaches, lethal and sub-lethal effects on marine fauna and flora etc. were elaborately discussed, using graphic and plate illustrations to elucidate understanding.
The study is of the view that marine pollution has enormous impact on our coastal resources and is totally unavoidable due to Global population explosion and technological innovations by man. However, it was asserted that the problem could be minimized through careful management. Pragmatic recommendations were therefore put forward on how to minimize the impact of marine pollution on our coastal resources, with specific reference to Nigeria. The coastal environment generally refers to any piece of land next to, bothering or adjourning the sea shore. The extent of the coastal environment also varies immensely, depending on the object of the context within which it is being defined. Sometimes, it simply means the narrow linear corridor of shore line separating the continental shelf from the oceanic land mass. At other times it may be considered to extend both largely inwards, towards the continental shelf and outwards, farther away from the shore line towards the terrestrial land mass. For the purposes of evaluating marine pollution sources and its effects on the coastal environment, the latter description is considered more suitable. Environmental pollution is the pollution of air, land and water in many ways. There are several reasons for environmental pollution, such as from agriculture, industry, and urban sources. Environmental pollution has drastically changed the air, water and terrestrial ecosystems as a result of the industrial revolution in Europe, North America and China in the 19th century. Moreover, different types of toxic gases and different forms of carbon components were produced from factories, transport, and energy sectors has resulted in different changes in the global climate and weather patterns, and become a source of contamination of land, as well as the ocean environment where the average temperature and acidity are increasing. In addition, many other chemicals like fertilizers used in the agricultural industry also contribute to the pollution of the seas over vast areas (Committee on Energy Futures and Air Pollution, 2007) Consequently, the coastal environment can be said to transcend the shore line up to the exclusive economic zone seaward and across the estuarine and intertidal zones to the lower reaches of the fresh water tributaries, sandy beaches and sometimes even arid continental land masses landwards, where such bounds the world Seas and Oceans.
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