World Ocean Day Symposium 2015 and Mud Crab Exhibition: Student Reflections

  • 37 students and staff were involved in the series of events
  • 17 Yr. 2 and 3 Vet Students attended the symposium
  • 17 Yr. 2 and 3 Vet Students manned the exhibition booth
  • Staff: Terence Tan, Samantha Komaran, Glendon Teo

The symposium opened my eyes to the extensive damage humans have done to the oceans and its inhabitants. Little had been said previously regarding the mysterious ocean and its inhabitants, and the symposium focused on the critical issues surrounding the seas. During the symposium, I’ve learnt that the oceans are badly polluted with litter and chemicals, resulting in many species being endangered with different severity and most of them are important for food and the tourism industry (e.g.: Blue Fin Tuna and manta rays). There is also an urgent need protect the oceans from the over exploitation of humans and to help reverse the extensive damage done. Through the symposium, I learnt to look out for the blue MSC logo that certifies sustainable seafood and how I can play a part in helping the ocean. By the simple act of choosing to consume sustainable seafood and not contributing to the demand for unsustainable seafood, we can help the ocean’s rapidly depleting supply of wild caught seafood.

I realize after the symposium that all the problems we are facing now with the marine environment are in many ways caused by humans and all of us have to do our part to help the oceans. Every single action counts and if we do not do something now, even we may not get the chance to enjoy the oceans in the near future, let alone the future generation. Overall, I find that both the symposium and the beach clean-up were enjoyable and educational. I would not hesitate to join such events again in the future.  
- Sim Wee, Yr. 2 Dip Vet

Being able to attend the symposium was itself a great opportunity. I have to admit, having to attend the symposium after the beach clean-up, was tiring and I had second thoughts in attending the event. Initially, I thought it was going to be dry talks after dry talks. However, the content that was discussed did grab my attention. A particular section that truly grabbed my attention was regarding sustainable seafood delivered by Mr Kelvin Ng from the Marine Stewardship council. It made me question on how the fishes, that we usually buy, are being reared. After the symposium ended, being the slightly persistent person that I am, I urged my own mother to now purchase fishes with the indicated logo. Thus I have to admit, that maybe have made me slightly particular of the fishes she is going to buy now. - Syahidah bte azmi, Yr. 2, Dip Vet

I volunteered to be part of the Mud Crab exhibition as part of the series World Oceans Day event organised by Marine Life Park, Singapore. The aim of our booth was to raise awareness of Mud Crab conservation, and we did so through playing interactive games with the public visitors. During the time spent talking to them, I felt heartened that they were willing to learn about the mud crabs and how they could contribute to their conservation.

I learnt that many people are unaware of the impact their actions can have on the environment and on the animals. Therefore, education is important to ensure that people know what the consequences are and what they can do to help. It does not require much to raise awareness – we can be the ones to tell others and spread the word on the importance of conservation, and awareness can be raised through the word of mouth. Don’t forget that you too, can make a difference, no matter how small.
- Clarabelle Sih, Yr. 3 Dip Vet

Volunteering to host a booth at the marine life park was both an enriching and rewarding experience. We were personally coached by our lecturers, and gained so much knowledge outside of the classroom. Honestly I thought it was solely about mud crabs, but it proved to be so much more than just that. We were able to link our cause to the bigger picture of conservation, and part of the joy was sharing with members of the public about that.

This brings us back to why we joined our course, to help animals and promote public awareness when it comes to conservation. I finished my volunteering feeling motivated, refreshed, and even more resolved to excel in my course of study. This was a very rare and exclusive opportunity indeed, and I am glad I can be a part of it.
- Candice Teow, Yr. 3 Dip Vet

The presentation of the mud crab breeding program at the SEA Aquarium was an experience that was really enriching. As the preparation had to done during the busy period of term test week, it really tested my time management skills. However, it was a blessing in disguise, because it helped me focus even better while preparing for the term test. During the actual event, I had to interact with members of the public to educate them about the mud crab breeding program. It helped me improve on my communication skills as I had to interact with people of all ages and nationalities. Interacting with the children and watching them play the games we prepared was also very fulfilling, as the children were very enthusiastic. Working with my team also honed me with my leadership skills. Overall, the experience of preparing and manning the exhibition helped me learn and improve on many skills, and is an event I would gladly volunteer for again.
Benjamin Quek, Yr. 2 Dip Vet

Students interacting with the public on mud crab conservation at the exhibition booth with fun and games for visitors of all ages.

Students interacting with the public on mud crab conservation at the exhibition booth.

Setting up the mud crab exhibition booth at the begining of the day.

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