World Oceans Day: Karachi pollution slowly killing Arabian Sea

World Oceans Day: Karachi pollution slowly killing Arabian Sea

KARACHI: The World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration which is celebrated every year on June 08 since 2008 when the United Nations recognised it as special day.

The overall theme for the World Oceans Day 2017 was set as "Our Oceans, Our Future: Conservation action focus to encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future".

Though, nations around the globe are celebrating the day to highlight the importance of oceans, in this region of Arabian Sea located in the northern Indian Ocean and stretched from India to Iran with Pakistan in the middle, the situation is different.

Like the Indian city of Mumbai, Pakistan's port city of Karachi, one of the biggest cities in the world, is contributing major chunk in polluting the Arbabain Sea.

According to federal Ministry of Ports and Shipping, around 472 million gallons of raw sewerage is thrown in the sea, daily. Not sewerage alone but additionally, huge amount of toxic industrial effluent is also thrown in the sea.

"Karachi has around 10,000 industrial units, which produce 80 million gallon per day (MGD)  of content comprising toxic metals and chemicals every day which is not treated anywhere and is poured directly into the sea," said Naeem Mughal, former director general, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). 

Beside that Karachi produces 12,000 tons of solid waste every day, but due to lack of scientific dumping site, waste is thrown along Arabian Sea, which too ultimately reaches into the sea. Major portion of the urban waste comprises plastic, a worst enemy for the ocean life.

Pollution is not only threatening marine life, fish catch and aesthetic value, but it is also causing disasters. According to scientists, Arabian Sea's tropical cyclones that are now becoming devastating, are also caused by increasing marine pollution.

In recent years, a garbage patch was found in the Indian Ocean.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in a recent study found that more than 80 percent of marine pollution is caused by land-based activities such as toxic chemical runoff, discharge of untreated sewage, industrial effluents and soils waste dumping into the sea.

The increasing pollution has not only reduced the fish-catch but also several species of indigenous fish have completely disappeared along the Sindh coast.

A drain in Karachi Korangi town carries raw sewerage, is flowing towards Arabian Sea


Solid waste is being burnt right on the edges of Arabian Sea in Karachi's Ibrahim Hyderi area


In Karachi, urban waste is thrown in the sea to reclaim land


Major portion of solid waste comprises plastic, which is harmful for ocean life


A minor drain that carries highly toxic chemicals is flowing through Korangi Industrial area. Later it will reach to the sea 


Local fishermen say that due to pollution, fish-catch has reduced and they catch small fish to sell it to fish-meal factories


Pollution can be clearly seen in the fish, caught by local fishermen


Fishermen Talib Kachhi says that due to pollution, several species of indigenous fish have completely disappeared along the Sindh coast


A women in Ibrahim Hyderi area is showing her feet, suffering with skin disease due to the pollution