Free-diving champ honored with UN title
Turkey’s multiple world-record holder and free-diving champion Şahika Ercümen has joined the fight to preserve oceans, becoming a “life below water advocate” of the United Nations.
Ercümen would not only represent Turkey for the cause but she would also be joining other leading successful personalities to encourage individuals and institutions to take action on important matters affecting the world and humanity, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey said in a statement.
Expressing how honored she was to be named as an advocate for underwater life, Ercümen called seas and oceans her natural habitat.
“The blue underwater world is threatened by ocean warming and acidification, overfishing and illegal fishing, extinction of millions of species, invasive alien species and of course plastics,” she said.
UNDP’s resident representative in Turkey, Claudio Tomasi, said Ercümen’s successful sports career was not the main reason she was chosen.
World Oceans Day is celebrated annually on June 8 to raise awareness about the world’s oceans and efforts to improve “the deep” since 1992.