The world since April 3, 2020, designated every April 3 as Aquatic Day to create awareness on aquatic animals.
The creatures, though not too common to man due to their place of existence, play a major role in the world’s ecosystem.
They are a source of food, feed on leftovers or sick animals in the sea, fertilize and sometimes care for what produces oxygen and filters water.
Apart from popular ones like Sea turtles, Fish, Sharks and rays, there are the Cephalopods, crustaceans and other shellfishes, Corals and invertebrates.
There are many more, like Marine mammals in the blue planet.
In Ghana, fish is a major source of protein and common in many homes and is used for soups, stews and preserved by refrigeration, salting, drying or smoking.
Most communities along the coastal lines of Ghana are mainly fisherfolks, who provide jobs for many in the fisheries value chain of the local economy.
Fish, octopus, shrimp, sardines, tunas amongst others are eaten with common foods like kenkey, banku, rice, fufu and other nutritious dishes.
But the species, recent times have faced lots of challenges including; pollution of the ocean with plastics, crude oil spills from oil wells, encroachment on ramsar sites and many more.
The day was first launched on April 3, 2020, and was a project of the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative and the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School, as part of the Centre for Animal Law Studies.
The intent is to raise global awareness about the often forgotten “nonhuman animals“, every year.
According to goodwork.ca, aquatic animals play a critical role in societies and ecosystems.
Experts are, therefore, saying, through law, policy, education, advocacy and good stewardship of the earth, efforts must be made to raise awareness of the plight of aquatic animals and protect them.
The first ever World Aquatic Animal Day was held on Friday, April 3, 2020, with the inaugural theme of, “The Aquaculture Industry.”
The theme for 2021 World Aquatic Animal Day is, “The Impact of Human Activities on Aquatic Animals,” and will cover a broad range of issues ranging from climate change, to plastic pollution, among many others.
In conclusion, we must give attention to these creatures not only because they serve as source of food and entertainment, but because of the key roles they play in the world’s ecosystem.