Don implores governments to protect the marine and blue economy

Lagos – Martins Anetekhai, a Fisheries Professor, has encouraged governments to take action to protect marine ecosystems, habitats, and species in order to maintain the marine and blue economy.

This claim was made by Anetekhai of the Science Faculty of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, during his farewell speech on Friday in Lagos, which was held in his honour to mark his retirement from the university.

‘Aquapreneurship: The Pathway To Sustainable Marine and Blue Economy’ was the lecture’s theme.

“The government’s role in the management of the marine and blue economy is pivotal and multifaceted.

“The strategies and implementation should be domesticated to the specific needs and challenges of Nigeria,as the blue economy can vary significantly from one country to another.

“These strategies, with political will and sustained commitment, can contribute to the successful implementation of a marine and blue economy,” Anetekhai said.

The speaker asserted that Nigeria stands to gain from the marine and blue economy in several ways, such as through the sustainable use of resources, economic expansion, conservation of biodiversity, food security, and climate management.

The professor also mentioned, among other things, carbon sequestration, cultural heritage, sustainable energy, tourism and recreation, and enhanced transportation networks.

“By focusing on water resources, the nation can further develop its maritime sector, improving port infrastructure, enhancing shipping services and increasing trade volume.

“Despite the potential, Nigeria’s marine and blue economy face challenges such as illegal fishing, overexploitation of marine resources, pollution and inadequate infrastructure.

“The challenges need to be managed through effective water resource governance and conservation efforts,”Anetekhai said.

Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), said that the valedictory lecture was a testament to the excellence that defined the institution.

Olatunji-Bello stated that it was illuminating to observe that his excellent contributions to the academic community had shaped the institution’s intellectual landscape.

“His journey reflects the core values of LASU; a commitment to academic rigour, innovation and pursuit of knowledge and excellence that extends beyond the confines of our classrooms.

“Anetekhai’s dedication to the field of fisheries has not only elevated our university academic standing but has also significantly contributed to the broader scientific community.

“His passion for research and commitment to distinction have set a high standard for all of us and will continue to serve as an inspiration for current and future generations of scholars,” she said.

Anetekhai worked for the institution for 39 years in a variety of positions before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Those in attendance included the management team of LASU, heads of departments, academic and non-academic staff members, and Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos.