KARACHI - The sea water of the metropolitan is considered to be the worst affected part of the country because of the discharge of industrial waste from Korangi, Landhi, and Karachi Export Processing Zone. The experts have showed concern over such alarming situation, while the authorities concerned still failed to control this situation, The Nation learnt on Monday. According to the survey conducted by The Nation, in the Korangi industrial areas; 2,500 industrial units including 170 tanneries dispose untreated waste into the sea. A continuous flow of water with animal dung from Bhains Colony is another source of pollution. Oil discharge in the Port Qasim area as a result of shipping activities also affect marine communities, while large oil spills have been observed in the region that disrupt fishing activity, paralyse economic activity and eventually impact the local fishing community. The survey showed that untreated waste and sewage from factories are drained into the sea as well as oil spills from ships and fishing trawlers transiting the port. "City District Government Karachi (CDGK) is among the biggest cause of polluting the sea by throwing three tones waste on daily basis, which not only deprive the fishermen from their livelihood, but also destroy the mangrove and marine life," said Mohammad Ali Shah, chairperson of Pakistan Fisher folk Forum (PFF). Shah said that despite of establishing various agencies against water pollution, so far no serious initiative had been taken in this regard. Meanwhile, the Karachi coastline's growing pollution level, which is tied to the increasing volume of trade via the shipping industry through the Karachi Port, is severely contaminating the mangrove forests and marine life in the area. Karachi Port handles the majority of the country's sea-borne trade while the surrounding areas of Karachi accounts for half of the government's revenues and contributes 20 per cent of Pakistan's GDP. Some experts said that some of the marine life was contaminated with lead, which if consumed by humans through seafood, has been linked to anaemia, kidney failure, and brain damage. The study also discovered that even the mangrove forests protecting the feeder creeks from sea erosion as well as a source of sustenance for fishermen are threatened by this pollution. Pakistan is heavily dependent on these mangrove forests to maintain the ecological balance. For example, the mangrove leaf litter provides a major source of nutrients. The mangroves provide a diverse habitat for a complex and interdependent community of invertebrates, fish, birds, and reptiles; and the primary productivity of these mangrove-covered delta areas. In addition, most of the tropical marine such as the commercially important shrimp species seek shelter in the mangroves for one stage of their lifecycles. The shipping industry, through its discharges, water pollution, and possible leakage and spills casts impact on this environment. The Karachi Port is also one of the greatest sources of releasing pollution by illegally pumping out bilges. Sewage and garbage from the visiting vessels are often uncontrolled and while the offenders are often fined by the port authorities, this has not been an effective deterrent. Moreover, the port is also affecting the environment with its heavy shipping of oil and subsequent dredging activities; traits common in the shipping industry. Due to country's spiralling dependence on oil imports, oil is one of the major cargoes imported at the port. However, an estimated 90,000 tons per year of oil discharges are pumped out within port limits and there exists no oil ship waste reception or treatment facility within the port. The 1991 Pakistan National Environmental Plan estimates that three main coastal industries located near the port with the largest volumes of industrial waste are the steel mill, power plants, and refineries. Moreover, many smaller industrial units are more significant in polluting the marine environment. In 1992, a United Nations study noted that the "concept of wastes recycling, treatment and disposal does not exist in the industrial sector in Pakistan". Even the highly polluted wastes are being discharged irrationally into water bodies, on soil and in the air. Industrial waste treatment systems are virtually non-existent in the country and those existing in a few industries technically do not meet the required standards or they are out of use or are non-operational. With scarce national government policies on environmental controls, the industries are able to dispose of the waste. The cheapest way for the company is to dump the waste into the sea.