The Nigerian Environmental Society Lagos Island Chapter (NESLIC) has called for the training of beach guards to protect sea animals washed ashore in Nigeria.
The chapter president, Chukwuma Umege, made this call while condemning the killing of a whale washed ashore by waves at Okpoama in Bayelsa.
The whale was reported to have been swept to the beach in the shores of Okpoama and Onyekia communities in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa on July 28.
According to him, the coastal community action portrays Nigeria as a nation with no regard for wildlife conservation and preservation.
“To be honest, the action of the coastal dwellers amounts to crime against biodiversity.
“It also portrays Nigerians as a misinformed, dis-informed, under-informed and uninformed people with no regard for protection of undomesticated animal species in the global community.
“The citizenry, especially coastal dwellers, need to be educated on dangers of seeing such stranded sea animals as source of meat.
“Yes, we know there is hunger in the land, but that does not mean that we should deliberately depend on such animals for food,” he said.
Umege said that things would have been done differently to ensure the safety of the whale.
He said the beach guards and the police would ensure the whale was saved as it was still in shock because of the unfamiliar environment, if it was still alive.
According to him, the guards will make sure the whale gradually makes its way back to the water.
Umege said that if the whale was dead, the same procedure should be taken, to dispose it off.
He said that whether dead or alive, the whale was not safe for eating, and should not be used as source of food.