A marine scientist and conservationist, Mrs Oyeronke Adegbile, has called for the preservation of the marine habitat to prevent the extinction of sea animals.
Adegbile said in Lagos that a reorientation of residents of coastal areas was necessary to prevent the extinction of most marine species.
“There is a lot we can do to keep sea creatures alive and save a lot of them from extinction. One way to do this is to create awareness.
“Residents of coastal areas need to know what they have and be able to identify the species. We need to educate them on the relevance of these animals to the ecosystem.
“They need to know the essence of these species and their values, if they know these, they will be more committed to conserving marine species.
“Other things we can do is to help the coastal environments. We must keep the marine environment clean because we know that the environment of marine species is very crucial to their survival,” the expert stated.
Adegbile said that conservation of the environment was paramount in preserving marine animals.
She also noted that the species could be protected through the enforcement of laws and conventions guiding their conservation.
“And we know that we have so much challenge in today’s ocean ranging from pollution and marine debris to over-fishing.
“So, it is very important that their environment is conserved. The marine environment can be protected through various ways.
“One way to conserve marine habitat is by enacting laws and enforcing them. For example, sea turtles are an endangered species and are protected under major international laws and conventions.
“So, if we want to protect our ocean, we can do that by protecting the sea turtle. They are a flagship species and by protecting them, we can protect the entire sea habitat,” Adegbile said.
She said that other ways to protect sea animals from extinction was to ensure that oceans are kept clean and clear.
The marine scientist added that sea animals could be preserved by frequent and regular beach clean-ups.
She advocated the planting of trees on beaches to give shade, so that marine animals could come under them to nest.
“We must ensure we do not defecate on our beaches, and make sure that when we have picnics, we pick up all the trash after the picnic among other sustainable practices,” Adegbile said.