by Fashade Blessing Olamide, Mundus maris Club FCFMT


True to its promise, the Mundus maris Club at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) on Victoria Island, Nigeria, carried out another one of its monthly ocean cleaning exercises on Tuesday, 30th August, 2016.


Despite the busy school activities and preparation for the forthcoming sessional examination, the members stood firm on their commitment.


The willingness of many students to make out time and energy for this exercise shows the passion, genuine love and strong determination they have towards the care of the oceans.


And this time they took to the sea on the Five Cowrie Creek instead of staying onshore.


The name originates from a time, when the creek was clean and healthy. But nowadays there is not a trace of these cowries.


The Atlantic Ocean along the southern border of the Niger Delta is extremely polluted by household litter due to the lack of proper garbage collection and processing and the weak environmental awareness and bad behaviour of many people residing in the coastal communities in the area.


The students of FCFMT are promoting a new and positive attitude to get visitors to these beaches as well as users of the waterways to stop disposing of their plastic bottles and other litter in the sea.


From our studies we know that the plastic breaks up into smaller pieces when exposed to the sun and wave action.


It then creates multiple harm to aquatic ecosystems in addition to reducing the esthetic value of the beaches and nearshore waters.


We want to set a good example to create conditions for a sustainable future of the Ocean.


So we were able to use one of the local boats and went out to scoop up the floating debries, plastic bottles of all shades and colours and much other plastic materials.


Bad weather and heavy rains prevented us from taking to the sea early in the morning as originally scheduled. But we were able to take off around 14h30 and kept going until 17h. In that one afternoon we collected about 40 to 50 bags of plastic bottles and other waste products discarded into the creek. So we achieved our objective to actually remove a large quantity of litter.


This way, we could also demonstrate to onlookers and passers by that they stop throwing their plastic carelessly away, that clean-ups can be done and that it is actually better to avoid littering the ocean in the first place.


We then made sure that the garbage collected got transported to proper disposal or recycling.


We want to remind everybody that we will not relent our efforts as the ocean is too precious and important to allow it to remain so polluted.


We invite you all to join in our efforts in the Niger Delta and whereever plastic pollution is a problem and engage in garbage collection where possible and in prevention.