Mundus maris organisiert den Welttag der Ozeane am Gymnasium des FUTA Personals, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

von Oke Israel, FUTA

View of the high table of the World Oceans Day event at AkureThe programme started with the arrival and registration of guests from 9:30am to 10:00am on 8 June 2017. 

The opening prayer was said by Mr Ajayi (FUTA Staff School), this was followed by introduction of the guests and participants by Miss Imoru Ruth (FUTA Protocol officer). Some of the participants introduced to the high table included, Prof. O.A.Fagbenro (The Chairman), Prof. L.C. Nwana (Former HOD, FAT Department, FUTA), Dr. J.B. Bolarinwa (Lead paper presenter), Mr. Ikuyinminu (Principal, FUTA Staff School), Mrs Adekanbi (FUTA Staff School Vice Principal, Academics and LOC Member), Mr Ajakaye (FUTA Staff School Agriculture teacher and LOC member) and Mr Ajayi (FUTA Staff School Vice Principal, Administration).

This was followed by the chairman address from the chairman of the day, Prof. O.A. Fagbenro. Goodwill and welcome address was delivered by Mr. Anthony Ikuyinminu (Principal, FUTA Staff Secondary School).

He welcomed all the participants and highlighted the importance of the ocean to sustaining lives on Earth. He also emphasised the timely theme of this year ocean day tagged "Our Ocean; Our Future". The Principal, FUTA Staff Secondary School, concluded that the importance of the ocean can not be overemphasised especially for the sake of posterity.

Audience during the keynote addressThe lead presentation titled "Our Ocean: Our Future" was delivered by Dr. J.B. Bolarinwa from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology, The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. Some of the highlights of his updated key points are as follows:

  • The World Oceans or global ocean (colloquially called the Sea) is the interconnected system of Earth’s oceanic waters and comprises 71% of the combined surface of the planet covering about 361 million km2.

  • The ocean is rich in marine resources and it is assumed that life originated in the oceans leading to all living organisms on land and water today: bacteria, plants, animals including humans. Different aquatic fauna and flora derive different resources from marine biome. The most valuable natural resources can be found in the oceans. These include food in form of fish, shellfish and aquatic weeds. According to the catch reconstructions of the Sea Around Us Project, current human extractions from the ocean are estimated to have peaked at about 130 million tons in 1996, declining ever since, particularly in the industrial segments of fisheries (Pauly and Zeller, 2016, 2017) (1).

  • Mundus maris AwardeesThe ocean removes carbon from the atmosphere and provides oxygen through the photosynthetic activities of aquatic algae. The ocean has the capacity to collect, drive, mix water heat and carbon dioxide. It can hold and circulate more water heat and carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. Massive uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is leading not only to thermic expansion of the ocean as a result of warming, but also reduction in oxygen content (warmer water contains less dissolved oxygen) and acidification.

  • Overfishing of Nigerian territorial waters have also been reported by various authors due to poaching, poor implementation of fisheries policies, poor enforcement of fishing laws and regulations and high anthropogenic pressure on the waters. Pollution and climate change constitute further strain on ocean health (Bolarinwa et al., 2016 ) (2).

  • There is a need to know the pollution status of Nigerian marine waters and the extent of loss of biodiversity. Marine organisms such as marine algae, plants, worms, corals, echinoderms (star fish), crustaceans, cephalopods (squids and octopus), commercial reef and deep sea fishes, sharks, marine birds, sea reptiles and turtles and marine mammals (whales) are becoming threatened and endangered, hence the need for the government to commit more funds to research on pollution, surveillance surveys, biomass estimates and marine protection.

The keynote and lead paper presentation was followed by the question and answer session, students and participants asked various questions about the lead topic. The questions were answered by Prof. Fagbenro, Prof Nwanna and Dr Bolarinwa.

Organisers, guests and awardees pose for a final group photoImmediately after this session, the Mundus maris awardees were recognised by the chairman, Prof. O.A. Fagbenro. He called the names of the seven awardees all from FUTA staff secondary school - congratulations!

Furthermore, Prof Fagbenro promised tuition scholarship to anyone of the awardees that wish to study any course related to Ocean resources management in any Nigerian university.

Finally, the vote of thanks was given by Dr. O.K. Gbadamosi, who appreciated all participants, lead speakers and guests for the making the year 2017 World Ocean Day (WOD 2017) celebration a success in FUTA. The Closing prayer was said by Mr .Ajakaye (FUTA Staff Secondary School). This was immediately followed by the photo session. The group photo shows the awardees with the guests.

(1) Pauly, D. and D. Zeller, 2016. Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10244, and

Pauly, D. and D. Zeller, 2017. Comments on FAOs State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA 2016). Marine Policy, 77:176-181.

(2) Bolarinwa, J.B., A.A. Ogunbona, O.J. Ishola and F.O. Ogundana, 2016. Socioeconomic Survey and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Artisanal Fisheries in Egbin Waterside, Lagos Lagoon, Lagos State, Nigeria. Int.J.Res.Agric.Forestry, 3(11):1-5.