Boost marine conservation for future generations, says famed Turkish diver

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 21 — Effort to create awareness among the public on the importance of marine conservation and care must be boosted to ensure future generations can enjoy the beauty of the sea eco-system, said famed Turkish Professional Free Diver Sahika Ercumen.

She said the cooperation of all the communities on Earth including Malaysians to look after their respective seas must be enhanced because pollution or garbage in the sea could spread elsewhere.

“I see many awareness campaigns on the importance of looking after the seas but they appear to be inadequate because we see there is still much pollution, for example, the dumping of garbage such as plastics at sea.

“I dived in the Antarctic Ocean of the uninhabited continent but I noticed there was garbage such as plastics in the ocean. Where did the garbage come from? Definitely, from other places but have drifted and eventually reached there,” she said here today.

She said this when delivering a motivational speech at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here which was also attended by UMS Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin and the Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia, Merve Safa Kavakci.

Sahika is a Turkish diver who holds 11 world records including the record for the first woman to dive to a depth of 100 metres in one breath without using an oxygen tank.

Meanwhile, Taufik Yap said the inspirational speech delivered by Sahika was very important especially in the effort to boost awareness on the importance of looking after and protecting the oceans.

“On behalf of UMS, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to Ms Sahika Ercumen for visiting our university and delivering a talk which is full of inspiration. I hope everybody can listen to this beneficial talk.

“Let us exchange ideas on ways to develop a sustainable relation with the vast eco-system so that it will continue to serve us and the coming generations,” he said.

Commenting on the visit by the Turkish Ambassador to UMS, he said there were several areas of co-operation that would be implemented and it would commence with collaboration with two universities in Turkey.

“Through the cooperation, we will implement several programmes including student and staff exchanges…these among others are aimed at carrying out research,” he said.

Kavakci, meanwhile, said the visit to Sabah was aimed at further strengthening ties between Turkey and Sabah.

“We will help to introduce Sabah to Turkey and we will also introduce Turkey to the people of Sabah. We will start this relation by introducing interesting tourism locations in Sabah.

“As such, this time, we have brought a woman diver from Turkey to dive at several interesting spots in Sabah such as in Sipadan. I am told they will also make a documentary on interesting diving locations in the state and definitely it will be able to promote Sabah,” she said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency