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The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria Celebrates 2015 World Oceans Day.

The World Oceans Day is celebrated every 8th of June annually since the General Assembly of the UN established it in 1993.

In collaboration with Mundus maris, the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) joined the global community to celebrate the 2015 World Oceans Day events in the packed T. I. Francis Auditorium FUTA.

The organising committee with Dr. Lydia Mosunmola Adeleke in the executive hot chair had managed to involve university staff, children and teachers of several primary schools and other interested people to a wonderful event in two parts.

Framed by prayers and thanks giving the programme comprised academic talks and a youth activities. In the first part, two keynote speakers took the floor: Professor Y. A. Asiwaju-Bello spoke on “Contributions of the geosciences to help recover stressed coastal oceans” and Professor O. T. Adebayo spoke on the topic “Opportunities and limitations of aquaculture for addressing overfishing in the ocean”.

Prof. Y. A. Asiwaju-Bello said: Africa stand erect in the ocean (Atlantic and India Oceans) despite the resultant forces. 

He further stressed that both human beings and oceans are linked and everything that affect the oceans affects humans as well.

He also said there are mineral resources along the coast that also sports a great wealth of organisms. That biodiversity plays an important role in healthy and well functioning marine and coastal ecosystems, but was under pressure from overfishing, oil pollution and climate change.

The state of the marine and coastal environment influences human activities and conversely was stressed by human activities. It was important to study the ocean and life in the ocean systematically. All science disciplines can make useful contribution to understanding the sea and the coast. He therefore concluded that all spheres of science should be involved in bringing the coast back to it original position and restore its former productivity.

In his talk, Professor O. T. Adebayo noted: The oceans are the origin of life and play a critical role in regulating our climate and maintaining suitable living conditions for our civilisation.

The plants in the ocean, mostly microscopic plankton algae, produce 50% of the oxygen we breathe. Because human CO2 emissions provoke acidification of the waters these algae with calcareous skeletons find it more difficult to hold their bodies together. So, should they fail to produce this oxygen, there will be no humans. ´No oceans - No life` (Adeleke, 2015 (song)).

Prof. Adebayo further elaborated on the causes of overfishing. He suggested that excessive consumption of bad fishing practices are the cause. Therefore, he recommended that one should have backyard fish farms of tilapia and other plant eating fish whenever possible. These fish do not need to be fed animal proteins, such as smaller fish, humans could eat directly. He also encouraged the youth to study/read fisheries and aquaculture, if possible, take it as a profession.

The pupils from the FUTA staff primary school and Next level Academy were not left out in showing the audience playlets all directing to the 2015 WOD theme of the Mundus maris Awards: “The Ocean and the Human Family”. The celebrations then went into the next phase with active involvement of kids.

The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. O. A. Fagbenro, handed honorary diplomas over to all Akure based participants of the 2015 Mundus maris contest to recognise their efforts and creative engagement for the Ocean. Master Fadairo Bankole Festus from the FUTA Staff Primary School, Nigeria, emerged winner of a Shark Prize in the category “How to care better for the Ocean” in the age group up to 12 years, while George Mary and Olowookere Marvellous from Next Level Academy, Akure, Nigeria, emerged as winners of Samba and Kumba Encouragement Prizes for their Ocean Dream Cartoons in the age group up to 12 years.

The celebrations closed with thanks and prayers and “family photos” of participants in front of the informative posters within relevant information about the marine environment.

For more pictures visit the FaceBook page of the Nigeria event.