Muscat: Oman can play a leading role in an international campaign to protect oceans, due to the efforts it has made in its sea, said Lewis Pugh, an ambassador for World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature globally, in the city on Tuesday.
Talking to Times of Oman, Pugh, an ocean advocate, inspirational speaker and author who has been undertaking long distance expeditions in all seven seas of the world, said his experience in the Oman Sea was magnificent.
"I have always been swimming in cold waters from Arctic to the Himalayas. But the experience in the Oman sea was marvellous,"he said. Pugh, who swam in Ras Al Hadd on Monday, said that it was an amazing experience. It was clean and beautiful. There were 20 to 30 turtles underneath and the beauty unmatched. This country has done tremendously and this showed what could be done," he said.
On the last day of the two-day visit as part of his '7 Swims, 7 Seas, 1 Reason' campaign, Pugh also took time out to swim in the waters near Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah where he was staying.
He said that the role of youth was important. "They should be shown places so they can understand what they have to protect. Omanis can do this well," he said.
People should be at peace with nature, if they really wanted peace among themselves, he noted.
Lewis Pugh was the first person to swim long distance in every ocean of the world he swam in the North Pole and in the Himalayas. He is one of the leading activists of the world working for the protection of oceans and coastlines around the world.
As a motivational speaker, he also gave a presentation which included audio visual clippings about his expeditions around the world in the presence of Omanis and expatriates at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah. Narrating incidents about his personal life, parents, childhood and his upbringing, and then resolving to work for the ocean and nature, Pugh said that it was very important to listen to one's mind and what one aspires to do.
"By swimming in vulnerable ecosystems, I want to draw attention to the impact of our actions on our oceans. I've seen enormous chunks of ice slide off Arctic glaciers. "I've gone swimming over bleached coral killed by rising sea temperatures, and over the bones of whales hunted to the edge of extinction.
"I have visited lakes high in the Himalayas where once there was only ice. I have seen drastic changes in my lifetime — changes that have come about because of our actions. In my lifetime I would like to see us change. Because we have it within our power to make a positive difference."