This year on World Oceans Day (8 June 2017), S.E.A. Aquarium collaborated with Republic Polytechnic (RP) to organise a treasure hunt that educates students on marine health issues.
Chan Jian Wei, a second year student at RP’s Diploma in Marine Science and Aquaculture (DMAC) shares his experience.
World Oceans Day (WOD) is an annual global celebration to protect and conserve the world’s oceans. In line with WOD 2017’s theme of “Our oceans, our future”, S.E.A. Aquarium and RP organised a treasure hunt to educate students on various issues related to ocean health such as sustainable seafood and reducing the use of plastics. Through the interactive booths set up at different locations, the students learnt about how plastic waste generated by humans pollutes the oceans, and how we can do our part by reducing use of single-use plastics, straws and products that contain microbeads.
One of my schoolmates, Lee Pei Ge, was surprised that the microbeads in her exfoliating facial wash were contaminating the ocean, and may even pass the toxic chemicals back to humans. She is now researching for alternative ways to exfoliate her skin, such as using environmentally friendly brushes.
S.E.A. Aquarium’s theme for WOD 2017, “Healthy Ocean, Healthy Us”, was evident throughout the event. At the end of the treasure hunt, we all did a personal pledge to help conserve the ocean by reducing our personal use of plastics.
After the treasure hunt, we attended a talk by Mr Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President for Mission Programs at National Geographic. He spoke about pushing the boundaries in the future of marine explorations.
Photos by National Geographic’s underwater photographer, Brian Skerry, were also on display. The exhibition titled “Ocean Soul” showcases the oceans’ natural beauty and educates viewers on the dire effects of human activities.
Jaay, a Year 2 DMAC student, felt that the poignant pictures showing what the ocean should have been, what it has become and what it can become, were a good wakeup call to raise awareness for ocean conservation. He felt that today’s visit to S.E.A. Aquarium was a very special one- seeing the conservation message placed right beside the wide variety of beautiful marine life motivated him further to do his part to protect the ocean. The booths placed at different locations within the aquarium were also an excellent way to spread the message of not using harmful plastic items. Overall, he felt that it was an interesting and beneficial experience.
All in all, we had an enjoyable and educational time amid the abundance of marine life, and learning how we can help conserve the ocean. We also got to know a lot about the effects of single-use plastics on marine ecology and how to cut back on the use of such non-environmentally friendly items.