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"Let’s Put the Ocean First", UN Secretary-General said in a message for World Ocean Day, 8 June 2023, urging all to keep pushing for recovery, conservation, sustainable use of resources. 'Humanity counts on the ocean. But can the ocean count on us?"  Following on from recent global agreements to protect 30 % of the ocean - including the High Seas - and 30% of the land for stopping mass species extinctions, the UN motto for World Ocean Day 2023 was "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing".

Activities started with a Clean-Up drive in Hilden, Germany, on Saturday, 3 June along a creek discharging into the river Rhine and from there into the North Sea. The Rhine had been used for years as a sewer for the agro-chemical and other industries to the point it was forbidden to swim, let alone go fishing for the last remaining fauna.

Thanks to European legislation, namely the Water Framework Directive and the Bathing Water Directive waste water treatment plants were established in urban agglomerations on the river and its tributaries in the 1980s, among other measures.

Since a few years, the results of the clean-up benefit the countless people allowed to swim in the river again and enjoying recreation alongside and on the river again. Since the beginning of the Millennium some renaturation efforts and establishment of fish ladders to overcome barriers such as power plants have enabled the timid return of some diadromous species, such as eel.  Despite costly recovery measures to recreate habitat for self-sustaining populations of salmon, the recovery of what was once the richest salmon river in Europe before WWII is not yet over the finishing line.

All the more reason to contribute to prevention rather than expensive cures. So, upon a call in the local newspaper and mouth to mouth invitation by Mundus maris, a few courageous friends of the ocean gathered to pick up particularly plastic garbage along the local creek, Hoxbach. The municipal waste management office provided collection bags and practical wodden pincers. The service also included collecting the garbage for proper disposal or incineration.

The 'harvest of the day' were 8 kg of mostly plastic garbage. That may not sound like much, but the single most abundant item were cigarette buts again. They don't weigh much, but are very toxic to water-living organism - and stink horrendously when in numbers in one place. All participants were happy to have eliminated that many. Home-made cake and a good chat afterwards came as well-appreciated rewards.

From Buenos Aires with Love

The 2023 World Ocean Day Celebration at the University of Belgrano, jointly organised on 6 June 2023 by the University, Mundus maris, and Terra Curanda, was a hybrid of both face to face and virtual. Presenters and participants from Africa, Europe and Latin America contributed through planning and implementation, a nice cooperation at a time when international confrontations appear to be on the rise.

In the 2023 World Ocean Day we had the special visit of Dr. Stella Williams, Vice President of Mundus maris, a prestigious academic from Nigeria and first panelist, who was warmly received by the director of the International Department of the Universidad de Belgrano, Mag. Eduardo Diez, together with Dr. Lilian Ferré, director of the Biology career who later opened the workshop.

The first planelist was Lic. Juan Jones, Mayor of the Makenke Marine Interjurisdictional Park, Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. He explained the dynamics of a marine protected area like the one he manages, and all the challenges involved. Next was Dr. Patricia Morales, University of Leuven, Belgium, and also Vice President of  Mundus maris.  Patricia spoke about the interconnections between the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the lense of human rights, ocean and paintings from famous artists expressing fundamental human conditions and the relation with nature.

Dr. Paola Laurini, teacher of the subject Economics of Natural Resources at the Universidad de Belgrano, from the General Directorate of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Tourism and Protected Areas, Chubut Province, Argentina, was the last speaker. She gave the audience a realistic vision of the practical issues faced in a marine protected area, including conflict of interest.

Moderation of the event was by Dr. Marcelo L. Morales Yokobori, professor of Marine Resources at Belgrano University and also Vice President of Mundus maris. He also published an opinion article in the Argentinean newspaper Perfil providing background information (in Spanish).

The diverse perspectives of the panelists ensured that the attention of the audience in the room and online was kept up. To liven up the programme the 'Book of the Marine World' fresh from the press was presented. The book contains a selection of contributions to Mundus maris Awards 2014-2020 addressing the respective UN mottos. A raffle among on-site participants led to five happy recipients of the book.

But it would not be World Ocean Day without the quiz. 108 of the 138 registered Latin American participants tested their knowledge on international agreements related to ocean affairs and fisheries. Likewise five interested persons from Nigeria took the English version of the quiz. It was good to see that a majority got all or most of the answers right. The high number of participants with wrong answers specifically on the World Trade Organization (WTO) is then an invitation to keep working so that the basics are clear in everybody's mind.

Harmful fisheries subsidies are the major driver in industrial overfishing and many illicit practices at sea, which are difficult to monitor and control. WTO had the mandate for more than 20 years for phasing them out. It only started to find solutions to this extremely harmful practice in 2022, after several years of huge civil society campaigning to which Mundus maris also contributed.

The organisers gratefully acknowledge Carla Bonelli, who translated Stella Williams' talk into Spanish simultaneously, and Bianca Franzolini who was in charge of coordinating the Google Meet platform for the hybrid event.

Last but not least a selection of the photos submitted to an online contest were recognised. See them below.

The next day, 7 June, 5th year biology students registered in the subject course Marine Resources held a participatory workshop on the WOD theme of the year, as a virtual exchange with students from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. They recorded greetings in three languages to each other, in Spanish, English and Yoruba.

The jury of the photography contest was composed of Patricia Morales, Stella Williams and Marcelo L. Morales Yokobori. The jury confered the following awards:

There are three prizes regarding different aspects of photography. As cetaceans can reach great depths, the Whale Award recognizes the profoundness of the image. Some marine birds can fly extremely long distances, reminding us how important is communication between different cultures, so the Albatross Awards recognize the message of the image. Cnidarian species can provide us with a symphony of colours and beauty; therefore, the Coral Awards recognize the visuality of the images.

Whale Award (to the depth)


Albatross Award (to the message)


Albatross Award  Coral Award
One of these things is not like the others
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
by Isabel Clara Acosta Coley
Intertidal zone
by Anthony Oswaldo Plua Mercham








Here is another Coral Award (to visuality)



Sun, Beach, and Peace in my Community, Playa Muerto, Darien Province, Panama

by Milagros Aldirelys González Samudio



Happy World Ocean Day to all!









A more detailed report about the various activities, including comments by students, is available here.


Celebrating World Ocean Day 2023 in Lagos, Nigeria

Collaboration gives strength. On this strength tested last year, Fish Party Nigeria, Mundus maris and the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technologies (FCFMT) in Victoria Island celebrated World Ocean Day online again to enable participation from a large area without increasing CO2 emissions.

Never an easy technical undertaking under current conditions, Mrs. AyoJesutomi Abiodun Solanke from Mundus maris and FCFMT ably moderated the event not to be thrown off course by temporary electricity hick-ups. And a nice event it was under this year's UN motto 'Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing'. We all hope they are changing for the better after several important wins in the last 12 months.

These concern, primarily reducing harmful fisheries subsidies through a treaty at the World Trade Organization (WTO), where negotiations are still ongoing for a second round to close some gaping loopholes. The other major ones are about stopping the on-going species mass extinction through protecting biodiversity on 30% of the land and 30% of the ocean by 2030 - known to many as the 30x30 agreement. They cover national exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the High Seas - the latter is the famous BBNJ (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction).

All successfully negotiated treaties now need urgent ratification and implementation. Last, but not least, the ongoing negotiations to curb ubiquitous plastic pollution aiming at a binding international treaty by end 2024 is making progress, despite the challenging practicalities which should be dwarfed by the urgency to protect nature and public health from the harmful effects e.g. of microplatic now in all food chains and more.

Participants constituted invitees from Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT), Victoria Island, Lagos, industry experts from Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF), stakeholders in the fisheries industry. Besides, all ocean enthusiasts and interested people were welcome and several registered via the Eventbrite website.

Dr. Stella Williams, Vice-President of Mundus maris and on assignment in Argentina sent her warmest greetings in an introductory statement.

The first speaker, Mr Oladoye David, a medical student who is also an aqua-culturist, marine enthusiast and a member of Fish Party Ng., delivered a lecture on the theme of the day. He reminded the audience that the idea for an ocean day dated back to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The UN General Assembly in 2009 officially established it to be celebrated each year on 8 June.

He enumerated the importance of the ocean as a major oxygen provider, a climate regulator; impacting the weather and climate, as an economic hub for harvesting living resources, precious non-living resources, and maritime trade and commerce. Mr. David warned that many forms of irresponsible and unsustainable practices were starting to come back to haunt humans as a result of diminished nature services and concerns for public health. “Micro plastics consumed and stored in tissues of smaller fishes end up on the plate of humans causing severe conditions,” he emphasized. The lecture encouraged everyone to recycle plastics rather than dumping them, to advocate and enlighten others while we push for legislation and enforcement for mitigating the dangers and realize a "positive changing tide."


For the second lecture, the organisers were pleased to have an industry expert on board, Mr. Dotun Adekumisi, a Fisheries officer of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Division at the Federal Department of Fisheries in Lagos. He focused on the Menace of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in the context of the Blue Economy. Blue Economy according to the World Bank is the sustainable use of coastal and marine natural resources for economic growth while sustaining the costal and marine resources. In the Gulf of Guinea, it is reported that USD 200 million are lost to IUU fishing. The goal of fisheries management is to ensure sustained economic benefits from the country’s waters. To ensure this, the Sea Fisheries Act was enacted in 1971. Its version reviewed in 1992 is still in use till today even though conditions have changed since.

The speaker attributed the causes of IUU Fishing to the growing demand of fish and seafood products, difficult economic and social circumstances, weak legislation and regulatory systems, lack of proper monitoring, control and surveillance activities, and lack of political will. IUU Fishing exacerbates food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and state revenue, fish stock depletion and weaknesses in management data. It's an issue with wide-ranging ramifications for Nigerian citizens and the authorities and needs concerted and sustained efforts to reduce the incentives as well as strengthening law enforcement.

Mr. Francis Emmanuel Mautin, a student of FCFMT, concluded the panel with a lecture on marine pollution. Sources of marine pollution are for example land runoff leading to algal bloom, direct discharge from sewage, industrial and mining activities, atmospheric pollution, shipping activities and deep-sea mining activities. Like the previous speaker, he also highlighted ways to help the ocean with recovery and preventive measures.

Following on from a lively Q&A Session, Mr. Idowu Huyinbo, convener of Fish Party Assembly, gave the closing remark. He invited participants to consider the three key challenges of the ocean, overfishing, climate change and pollution, as a shared responsibility, and not leave it solely to regulatory agencies or the government to address these. Civil society organisation should engage in advocacy online and where ever their members may find themselves.

He advocated the need for an Ocean and Resources Improvement Project to include restoration, protection and responsible use of fisheries resources including data collection, analysis and research for assessments, monitoring, information dissemination, regulation and enforcement. 

All in all some 45 participants benefited directly from the event braving the network difficulties and strengthening their resolve to keep working for healthy seas and healthy people.


World Ocean Day in Kiel Germany with focus on ocean protection

Kiel is setting its ambitions high. The capital of Schleswig Holstein, the most northerly state of Germany, seat of GEOMAR, internationally renowned for its marine research programmes, has declared its objective three years ago to become a city for ocean protection. That's a big leap for a city with a marine military history and now an increasingly busy hub for large cruise liners.

Mundus maris together with Ocean Philosophers had a tent in the Ocean Summit village and offered the Ocean Game, which was played with gusto by the young visitors of the event along Kiellinie, right on the pier.

The questions and multiple answers to chose from were naturally attuned to the venue on the Baltic. So the players learned, if they did not know as yet, that the species of marine mammals in the Western Baltic - harbour porpoises, grey seals, seals - were mostly not in a good state. Ringed seal in the Gulf of Finland is even considered in critical state by HELCOM. There is work to be done on other fronts as well, starting with finding socially acceptable solutions to expanding no-take zones, reducing run-off from industrial agriculture and retrieving hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ammunition dumped at the end of WWII.

The large coalition of civil society organisations active in different aspects of marine recovery and protection, artists, scientists, divers, sailors and more were populating the village with a great diversity of creative offers to engage and entertain visitors.

After the invasion of school classes trooping about in the morning, mostly to a tight programme starting with a film introduction, the remainder of the day saw locals and their visitors of all ages strolling up and down, stopping for a conversation, hand painting cotton bags with ocean motives 'next door', or just taking a flyer.

Many reached for a promotional card for the FishBase Guide app as demand for knowing the minimum reproductive size of fish species to make e.g. a sustainable purchase was high. Here in this urban environment even relatively young kids seemed to have mobile devices and were keen to try the app out.

The app was also popular with quite a few teachers interested to use it during lessons. Click on the QR code for direct download:


The crowds were such that bykers needed to walk to avoid collisions.

Both organisers and visitors enjoyed the sunshine, light breeze and relaxed atmosphere inviting a good mix of chatting, learning, fun, food and drink and meandering between the different boothes, stage performances, music and film. No way to stop after the official end at 18h, especially when the film on the Vendée Globe featuring Boris Herrmann was still being screened.

Congrats to the entire Ocean Summit team around the Boell-Stiftung Schleswig Holstein and BUND at its core. And happy to meet Lisa Hentschel and other Ocean Philosophers again with whom we collaborated earlier a couple of times, and, of course, the friends of the Baltic Sea Heritage Rescue Project, our neighbours on the Love Your Ocean Platform at the Boot Fair in January, who fittingly demonstrated live how to lift a lost fishing net from the seabed.

More information about the rich programme of World Ocean Day 2023 in conjunction with promoting Kiel as a city of marine protection is available here.


Artisanal fishers in Hann, Senegal, joint World Ocean Day celebrations

You may think that World Ocean Day is a bread and butter event for artisanal fishers in Hann who owe their livelihoods to the ocean. They certainly pay respect in their own way, but World Ocean Day as agreed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2009 as an annual celebratory occasion, was so far not on their radar. For years, Mundus maris for its part has been an active promoter of reflections and activities in support of each year's UN motto for the day, always with a strong focus on young people as their futures depend so much on a healthy and productive ocean that keeps producing most of the oxygen we breathe, stabilising the climate, providing food and jobs. In 2014, we organised the first celebrations with young people of the soccer schools and their friends and relations.

It's been a long time coming. Bougane Bâ, Khardiatou Tambédou, Safy Diaw, Maguette Thiognane and Rama Bar are all women active in artisanal fisheries and elected members of the fisheries commission advising the municipal council on sector matters since the last elections. They took the initiative together with Aliou Sall, commission chair and vice president of Mundus maris to organise a big event in 2023 for World Ocean Day. The municipal council endorsed the proposal to convene a debate with invited representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Fisheries. It was to focus on the damage inflicted to artisanal fisheries operators in Hann in the form of infrastructure for the Blue Economy and other harmful measures for artisanal fisheries. The grievances concern among others the eviction of the women fish marketers from their traditional working spaces into precarious and unsafe conditions. These issues were already mentioned in the report based on a survey of some 50 women last year. The complaints of the women about poor sanitary conditions affecting their health date back even longer without any remedial measures being taken. This time something should change for the better, true to this year's UN motto 'Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing'. The objective is to find a mutually acceptable compromise and peaceful coexistence between industrial and artisanal activities.

As a result of the volatile political and security situation in the country in the last few weeks, planning was hampered as people needed to cater foremost for personal safety. In these circumstances the meeting with the ministry representatives had to be postponed. Meanwhile the initiators formed a proper preparatory committee for World Ocean Day with other interested parties. Several themes were discussed. In the end, it was agreed to focus on an exchange on small pelagic fish, the mainstay of the entire value chain in Hann from fishing to processing and marketing, contributing to food security even beyond the town. For the strongest possible basis of the exchange, the initiators suggested to revert also to research on the matter. It was thus agreed to invite Mamadou Faye, fisheries biologist, former division head for artisanal fisheries at the Fisheries Department and former coastal surveillance chief, who combines professional competencies with knowledge of the local context as he is originally from Hann.

This gathering on 8 June 2023 attracted quite some attention with some 40 men and women active in the artisanal sector attending. About 10 women joined a bit later as they had to attend to landed fish before. From the mayor's office Mr. Matar Diaw, first deputy mayor, and Tamsir, the director of the mayor's cabinet, were in attendance in addition to Abdou Aziz Sy, in charge of issuing artisanal fishing licences in the Local Artisanal Fisheries Committee (CLPA), and others.

Mr Faye's presentation consisted of French slides, but the oral explanations were in Wolof to put the audience at ease. He elaborated on (i) the ecology of small pelagics including their migrations; (ii) the evolution of the stocks - here the main take home message is that the catch per unit of fishing effort is decreasing, a sign of (too) heavy fishing which tends also to deteriorate the economic results; (iii) the fishing overcapacity at the artisanal and industrial levels; (iv) the various laws and regulations the artisanal fisheries do not comply with and the impacts that has; (v) the lack of knowledge of industrial fishing effort; (vi) the issue of marine pollution and its impacts on society. In brief, he focused mostly on poor fisheries governance by highlighting shared responsibilities between state and private actors in the artisanal and industrial sectors.

During the ensuing discussion time, nobody challenged his statement about the co-responsibility of artisanal fishers, but participants taking the floor expressed serious doubts what if officially communicated about the industrial fleet. They also challenged socio-demographic data used in relation to their community as they did not coincide with their daily observations. Mr. Faye acknowledged that there may be difficulties and that there may be weaknesses in the data, but that he could only present officially published information. This brought home the need to improve the reliability and completeness of statistical datasets of the Fisheries Department and other institutions to avoid decisions being taken on a weak or even erroneous basis. That was a conclusion almost all participants agreed with.


Several questions were put to the expert, but which in reality challenge the authorities at the highest level of the State.

They wanted to know (i) what are the reasons for the State continuing to grant access for industrial fishing while the resources are already in a poor state, (ii) why the community is not informed in advance of certain infrastructures put in place by the central government and which resulting in an expropriation of fishermen and in particular women, illustrated by cases with ongoing projects in Hann, and (iii) why the fisheries administration delaying payments to the CLPAs from the royalties they were expecting as rebates from financial income from the sale of artisanal fishing licenses. This question touched on a current problem as it has been noted that fishermen are less and less inclined to buy the license and take to the sea without holding one.

Naturally, Mr. Faye had to insist that he could not speak on behalf of the government, even if he was aware of the issues raised and limited himself to what he could say as a scientific and technical expert. The moderator, Aliou Sall, helped him out by reminding the participants that the intended scope of this meeting was to get scientific inputs into the reflections in the locality and that another meeting was scheduled for 13 June with representatives of the ministries to address the grievances concerning governance under the title "The relationship between the blue economy and artisanal fisheries: conflicts and perspectives".

At the end of the exchange, as chair of the Fisheries Commission of the municipality, Aliou Sall thanked Mr. Faye for his informative presentation and the audience for their lively participation. He also acknowledged that the municipality had kindly made available a fully equipped room for the gathering and Mundus maris had invested a lot of time and energy during the complicated preparations. The usefulness of this exchange as recognised by the participants more than justified the effort.

He concluded by informing the audience that the artisanal fisheries academy which is beginning to make its way step by step in Senegal, will soon take more shape. He explained that the academy wants to be a space for the same type of fruitful dialogue that was needed more frequently. He explained that this academy will be animated in a way that anyone interested will feel empowered and an actor / actress recognised in their own right. The academy will be presented at the inauguration of the fishermen's house built as part of the partnership between the Commune de Hann Bel Air and Fos-Sur-Mer in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France. This means that the artisanal fisheries academy will need to be supported by the municipality of Hann Bel Air, which could make it an educational tool for sharing knowledge, fostering dialogue and intermediation for the future of fishing and the communities that depend on it.


Accra, Ghana, celebrates as well

On the 8th June, 2023, as part of the World Oceans Day celebration in Ghana, the University of Ghana Law School, the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana in collaboration with Ocean Governance and Development Project and Norad organized the year’s celebration on the University of Ghana Campus. The UN motto "Planet Ocean: Tides are changing" brought together stakeholders from within the ocean space as well as University students to enlighten participants on ocean governance, the need to deepen ocean literacy and build strong partnerships.

The program also aimed to foster stakeholder discussions on the findings of the Ghana Oceans Governance Study Report. To this effect, Mundus maris Ghana, in addition to other civil society organizations and Government Ministries such as the Ghana Maritime Authority, Fisheries Commission, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) and the Navy were invited to participate.

The event  was chaired by Prof. F. K. E Nunoo, Head of Department of the Marine and Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana and Chair, Fisheries Commission of Ghana. High level dignitaries such as the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Ambassador Ingrid Mollestad, Director of MEST, Mr. Peter Dery and other higher ranking state officials in maritime security were in attendance.

Mundus maris was represented by Ms. Sarah Appiah and Ms. Yaa Osei Mensah who joined in to contribute to the stakeholder discussion on the Ghana Ocean governance report presented by Mr. Godwin Djokoto, Coordinator, Ocean Governance, Research and Development Project. The report highlights the ocean's governance structure through the legal and institutional framework in Ghana, identified gaps and capacity building needs in ocean governance in Ghana. Pointing out two priority areas of concern; marine fisheries and maritime security, the authors made some recommendations for the way forward and called on stakeholder inputs.

During the discussion Ms. Sarah Appiah of Mundus maris emphasized the essence of gender considerations in ocean governance, particularly, the potential role women fish processors and traders in fighting against IUU fishing in Ghana. Again, she pointed out the subtle diversion of Saiko fishing which is believed to have been stopped but persisted in different forms in Tema, where the Chinese trawlers are now landing a lot of the small pelagic fish and packaging them as “ logo” fish. She also called on relevant stakeholders to address that to save the artisanal fisheries in Ghana. A student participant and a media personnel adding to the discussion also called on stakeholders to consider youth involvement and the media in ocean literacy and advocacy programs.

Importantly, the Director of MEST in his contribution to the discussion highlighted the need for the UNCLOS Treaty in Ghana and the New Oceans Treaty to be domiciled in a particular Ministry to facilitate its effective implementation.

The Mundus maris team also seized the opportunity to interact with some students and other participants of the event to explain our mandates and activities and give them some ocean literacy flyers. To help test participants’ knowledge after the event, the  team gave out the ocean quiz to some participants and collected responses from 23 respondents. It was gratifying to note that six students expressed their interest to volunteer with the organization. Welcome!

Text and pictures by Sarah Appiah.

Ocean activities in Braga, Portugal, culminate at World Ocean Day

Every place makes its specific contribution to World Ocean Day celebrations, this year under the UN motto "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing".

Braga in northern Portugal is less than 30 km away from the Atlantic Ocean. At the Association of Schools Francisco Sanches the teaching staff ran an extended interdisplinary project titled "We are all Ocean" that culminated on 8 June.

With the support of Mundus maris the schools have once again dedicated a series of events and activities to ocean literacy engaging different classes with their respective teachers - artistic and scientific and journalistic.
They even included a radio production broadcast for the school community and a theatre performance.
The result of so much dynamism, creative talent and study focused on the current problems of the ocean and humanity as a whole can be seen in an ebook, reproducing a selection of works produced by the different participating classes and documenting the production process.
The pdf version is distributed free of charge and can be downloaded here (11 MB).
Moreover, you can find the radio and theater recordings, made for this ocean event on the internet.
Mundus maris especially thanks Professor Isabel Candeias and the entire teaching team and students of the Francisco Sanches schools for the outstanding commitment to this educational process of awareness creation.
And they did not stop there, but reached out to the families and the local population thus creating a noteworthy impact well beyond the school itself.

An example to emulate!



Grand Batanga School, Cameroon, celebrates in Kribi

Our longstanding collaboration with the Bénévoles Océan in Cameroon met the proof of time and enabled again an active celebration of World Ocean Day in the coastal city of Kribi. The Grand Batanga schools groups participated in the 2023 edition with a large group of pupils of approximately 150 kids accompanied by their teachers. Volunteers came in support from Ngaoundéré, Douala and Yaoundé to do justice to this year's UN motto "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing".

Under a menacing sky the Bénévoles des Océans reached the school at about 8h30. A fair number of pupils expected them already, plastic bottle in hand, which they had collected on the beach and elsewhere and impatiently waiting to learn how to recycle those bottles, led by their Principal, Mr. Massingo Éric Mesmin.

The ceremony started with a welcome by the principal, some teachers and pupils. Jeauberte Djamou, president of the Bénévoles des Océans, then launched the programme of the day by first distributing the T-shirts and then taking the initial family photo in front of the school information board.

The programme had several parts and was followed by the pupils with great motivation and engagement.

  • It started with raising awareness about the causes and consequences of various forms of pollution, particularly plastic pollution of the ocean and seas; that was now going to be addressed by a binding international agreement currently under negotiation which should be signed by the end of 2024 to reduce the threat considerably;

  • All kids and teachers then engaged in a big beach clean-up to make a practical contribution by collecting all plastic bottles they could retrieve;

  • With their 'harvest' of waste they learnt how to separate different types of waste and how to recycle the plastic bottles into tools and other useful objects for their schook, their homes or for use as toys etc;

  • A question and answer session followed with a focus on the UN motto of the day and testing the knowledge they had acquired during the trainings during which the best had also received some awards for good performance;

  • The kids also gathered statements about the importance of ocean protection.


At the end of these different activities the pupils had also understood how dangerous sea level rise was for their region. They pleaded for tree planting along the beach to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and contribute to reducing the negative effects. Teachers and volunteers applauded their sense of engagement.

The day's programme was concluded with sharing some bread, mineral water and other refreshments, which the kids appreciated very much. A final picture was taken with a hopeful message for a sustainable blue economy.

The concluding remarks were uttered by Ms. Jeauberte Djamou of the Bénévoles Océan praising the engagement of the kids, the teachers and thanking the different supporters, including Mundus maris. No earlier had she finished her closing address, the rains started as if in benediction of this beautiful event.

The teachers of the Grand Batanga schools sent a thank you letter afterwards because the pupils had greatly enjoyed the day. They also wished that the municipality and any other supporters would develop a playground and picnic area with refreshments to make the beach even more attractive to the kids and their families - and that everybody would help to prevent further pollution of the ocean and the beach.


Akure youths celebrating again with Mundus maris, Nigeria

In Southwest Nigeria, Akure in Ondo State to be precise, this year’s World Ocean Day was celebrated in grand style again with support by Mundus maris and Aquaworld. This year 2023 marks the third year the two organisations have been collaborating to celebrate the World Ocean Day.

The World Ocean Day Youth Advisor in Nigeria, Favour Ayedun, who succeeded Paul Eweola, former World Ocean Day Youth Advisor from Nigeria, also contributed immensely to the success of the celebration.

This year, the event was celebrated in two phases;

  1. Plastic Mop-up Activity Involving Youths and Students

  2. Children's engagement featuring ocean art, plastic craft and eco-talk with the kids.


Plastic Mop up

The Plastic Mop-up was held on the 8th of June at the campus of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA).

The activity started at 9 am at the university car park Obakekere, picking up plastic materials all through the FUTA Secondary School, Old Library, School Clinic, Frontage of FUTA Primary School to Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Farm!


The activity mobilised undergraduates from the university who made outstanding contributions as volunteers to the success of the event.

The volunteers were provided with gloves, nose masks and waste bags.


Under the direction of World Ocean Day Youth Advisors Favour Ayedun the volunteers collected lots of garbage.


They filled altogether 9 bags during the event, each weighing an average of 2.5kg.

That is indeed a substantial quantity, especially considering that the individual weight of plastic items is often low.


Below is the group photo of the most active students with the two coaches setting the entire programme up and seeing it through to its successful conclusion.


Children Engagement

On the 16th of June, the Olufunmilayo Group of Schools in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria engaged their college students to round up the World Ocean Day Celebration.

On this day we had a series of activities:

  • Ocean art painting

  • Plastic craft making and

  • An eco-dialogue with the kids and the WOD youth advisor Favour Ayedun.


Recycling plastic Reuse materials

These activities enabled the students to enhance their creative ability to make valuable items from used plastic materials, sketch beautiful ocean sceneries and products, and gain more insights into ocean protection.

And, of course, there were some incentives for the pupils which showed greatest commitment in learning more about the sea and how to protect it through artsy works.


Both events were coordinated on site by Paul Eweola, Aquaworld-President, who selflessly assisted Dr. Lydia Adeleke who is currently on the Mujeres for African Foundation Fellowship in Spain.



World Ocean Day is an annual occasion that helps people get acquainted with ocean conservation and protection.

"No one should be left out in taking action to achieve a clean and healthy ocean", said Paul Eweola.


Soccer for World Ocean Day in Senegal

Sport at the rendezvous for the protection of the ocean with Mundus maris in the municipality of Hann Bel Air

The celebration of World Ocean Day has become a regular part of their annual calendar for the soccer training schools in the municipality of Hann Bel Air. Indeed, for several years, in collaboration with Mundus maris these schools have not missed a single edition. With the growth of the alliance among the school, the 2023 programme saw the participation of 16 training schools, with one joining at the very last moment to have a total of 17 participating centres.

That's an excellent sign, because they all want to be an active partner.

As usual, the day is celebrated in two phases. It always begins with a beach clean-up on the morning of June 8, followed by a final phase of a soccer tournament dedicated to the ocean.

Thus for the 2023 edition, there was the mobilisation of young residents of the 16 training centers on the morning of June 8 to clean up the beach. There followed a collection of garbage which was transported to the municipal landfill.


Each year the participants are amazed about the quantities of garbage of all kinds, including this time even a discarded piece of furniture they find and remove from the beach. They deserve to be congratulated for their effort. At the same time, like in other places, the question lingers what the municipalities and educational institutions are doing to organise the systematic collection and safe processing of various types of garbage and how citizens are being educated from an early age on using the differentiated disposal system and keeping their environment clean and healthy.

The afternoon of June 8 was devoted to the soccer competition finals. It should be noted that with 16 centers who had expressed their wish to participate, the playoffs started already on May 25, involving two categories: cadets aged between 16 and 17 years old and youngest from 12 to 13 years old. The overwhelming majority of training centers offer courses both categories (adolescent players and the youngest).

You can hardly overstate the enthusiasm generated by this tournament now on the agenda of the sports world in Hann. To appreciate its role Ibrahima Ciss, known as Gabou, and the main collaborator of Mundus maris in relation to World Ocean Day sport activities together with Aziz Babou, his deputy, affirm that the June 8 tournament has become a major event in the annual agenda of the centers of this locality. Gabou keeps saying: "This tournament, which has been organised for several years with the support of Mundus maris, is unique in its kind for its durability, which makes it the only event ensuring a good tournament for these motivated young people who need it to gain experience". For people who live far from the context Gabou refers to, it should be noted that there a number of competitions mostly as one offs often promoted with political undertones on the eve of an election. They are rarely offered regularly. The reliability of the World Ocean Day event generally impresses the community. 


So the anticipation and joy was tangible end May. First for the cadets, there are 8 teams from the following schools: Maison Foot, Challenge Foot, CPH, Mame Rokhaya, Friendship Club, Gonèye Montagne, Vision Foot, Top 11, and Gonèye Fari.

As for the youngest, all centres participated, namely: Maison Foot, Challenge Foot, CPH, Mame Rokhaya, Friendship Club, Gonèye Montagne, Vision Foot, Top 11, Gonèye Fari, Gonèye Bira, School "Mamadou Teuw", Gonèye Mafall, B2 Sports, Olympic Sports, Yarakh United, Selection AMF Bel Air, and Diégo Academy.

All teams received a ball in recognition of their effort and participation.

Here Gabou hands a ball to the captain of one of the teams, who is visibly pleased.

The finals took place in the afternoon of June 8.

That of the youngest saw "Club de l'Amitié" playing against Gonèye Montagne and winning the game.

The final of the cadets pitched "Challenge Foot" against Maison Foot. Challenge Foot won, Maison Foot was second.

Mundus maris, through its vice president, took care of all the logistics and the various rewards made up of balls and trophies.

The particularity of the 2023 edition lies in the fact that two girls played among the boys. They are Seynabou Ndiaye and Maïmouna Sall. Their teams were stopped at the elimination stages.

In consultation with Gabou, Mundus maris thought it was a good idea to reward them for this feat, which is also a way of encouraging other girls to follow in their footsteps.

An exceptional event, an exceptional reward. To reward these girls, the only ones for the moment to play in teams made up of boys, Mundus maris offered each a pair of shoes to play soccer.

Several people took the floor during the ceremony marking the end of a tournament which was a great success both in terms of the participating centers and the number of spectators.

On the part of Mundus maris, Aliou Sall thanked in particular Ibrahima Ciss, called Gabou, assisted by Aziz Babou, our main interlocutors with this sporting environment. These two men and their tireless commitment are the garantors of this environment cum sports event and its growing success. The approach of the trainers making the link between sport and environmental health by taking the oceans as a gateway warrants particular praise.

 The team of the youngest of Club de l'Amitié won their tournament  The team of Gonèye Montagne came in second.

For his part, Gabou congratulated Mundus maris for having succeeded in providing sustained support for several years. He returned to the great interest represented by this competition which is unique in the municipality for arousing so much interest. He said that every year, the tournament is eagerly awaited. Last but not least his dream is that this tournament can attract the centers of the other municipalities of the city of Dakar. His ambition is that the celebration of the World Ocean Day be carried forward by these other training schools as well and, why not, the city of Dakar.

The winning cadets Team of Challenge Foot The team of Maison Foot came in second


Concert for the Ocean in Oostende, Belgium, 11 June

To celebrate World Ocean Day 2023, Mundus maris invited the cellists Sara Fontan Ferreira and Angelika Zolcsàk to perform works by Haendel, Falla, and Stravinsky, marine songs and traditional melodies, about the four elements - earth, fire, air, and water - that meet the harmony of the ocean.

The concert took place at De Cierk, Maritieme Plein 10 (East Bank), Oostende, Belgium

Programme of the Ocean Concert: 

  • EARTH - Earth by Hans Zimmer - Ao-tea-roa: En maori tierra de larga y blanca nube, Luar Na Lubre - Spring by Antonio Vivaldi 
  • FIRE - Danza ritual del fuego by Manuel de Falla - Nocturne from A midsummer night’s dream by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Ode to Joy by Ludwig van Beethoven 
  • AIR - Blowing in the wind by Bob Dylan - Nau: Nacidos del aire y unidos al mar, Luar na Lubre - Autumn by Antonio Vivaldi 
  • WATER - Hornpipe in D from Water music by Georg F Haendel - Somewhere over the rainbow by Harold Arlen - Winter by Antonio Vivaldi 
  • OCEAN - The Wellerman, popular song - Catro vellos mariñeiros by Travieso Quelle - Alfonsina y el mar by Ariel Ramirez - Oceans by Hillsong United

Watch and listen in to an excerpt here. With gratitude to Willy Versluys (De Cierk) and Ann-Katrien Lescrauwaet (UN Ocean Decade Belgium) for organisational support and collaboration.


Mundus maris asbl supports 2023 World Ocean Day Event in the Canary Islands, Spain

Centro de Educación Infantil y Primaria – CEIP - Principe De Asturias, Telde, Grand Canaria, Spain, joins the globe to celebrate the 2023 World Ocean Day with support from Mundus maris on the 19th of July 2023. The event marked the first time that Mundus maris Science and Arts for Sustainability asbl features her activities in the Canary Islands in Spain.

The mission of Mundus maris resonates with CEIP. It is to provide scientific and relevant indigenous knowledge and encourage artistic expression about the sea to promote its restoration, conservation, and sustainable use, to further the study, understanding and respect of aquatic ecosystems and associated biological and cultural diversity.

Pupils all ear Gifts and gadgets

The event held at CEIP, involved the class five pupils of the school who showcased their various independent artistic work and craft on the ocean addressing the United Nation WOD 2023 theme: “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing”.

Dr. T. F. Igejongbo (AWARD Fellow; ULPGC) delivered the event lecture titled: “The need to protect the Ocean.


Professor F.O. Agbebi (AWARD Mentor) was the Jury who without bias selected the best 1st, 2nd, and 3rd out of over forty (40) superlative artistic exhibition pieces of the pupils.

The Principal of the school, Mariam Godoy, in her goodwill remark stated that the Mundus maris World Ocean Day event will be a continuous event in the island and that the school will take a lead in the spreading the yearly event in the Canary Islands.

The event was coordinated by Wita Felipe (AICLE) a staff of the school and Dr. Adeleke Mosunmola Lydia, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology, The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and a Fellow of the 2023 Mujeres Por Africa Fellowship attached to (PLOCAN) Spain, she also represents Mundus maris.


Gratitude and great acknowledgement to PLOCAN for the enormous commitment and providing the winners’ prizes and gifts to all participants at the event.