Bright prospects of blue economy

Devise measures to identify and utilise offshore resources

Published : 19 Aug 2021 09:08 PM | Updated : 20 Aug 2021 01:02 AM

Bangladesh is geographically blessed as the country is located on the Bay of Bengal. Bay of Bengal has long been contributing to Bangladesh’s economic growth and can serve us with a plenty of resources that can help the country ensure food security, eradicate poverty boost economic growth and generate sustainable as well as inclusive employments. In this regard, Bangladesh needs to leverage conservation and utilisation of marine and coastal eco-systems in an efficient manner. Needless to say, safe and environmentally sustainable extraction of sea resources will make a remarkable contribution to the wellbeing of our future generation.

Huge potentials of blue economy emerged after the settlement of the maritime boundary with India and Myanmar, but there is no progress yet in exploring the marine resources. It is disheartening to note that despite gaining vast maritime area from India and Myanmar, the activities of the ministries, divisions and agencies concerned on the ‘Blue Economy’ have come to a standstill. 

It is time to learn and 

identify the amount of 

resources available in the sea

What is more disconcerting is that no significant progress has been made in exploring the offshore resources, except the formation of a small administrative cell called the ‘Blue Economy Cell’ under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources though the cell has no legal authority.

Bangladesh reportedly has 1, 18,813 square kilometres of maritime area and more than 30 million people directly depend on oceanic economic activities like fisheries and commercial transportation. However, Bangladesh has not been able to conduct adequate survey to learn and identify maritime resources. Hitherto we are lagging behind in exploiting our blue economy potential due to lack of technology and efficient manpower. 

There is an abundance of resources under the ocean that need to be tapped prudently. We must nurture what we have and in order to do that we need to learn and identify the amount of resources available in the sea. To this end, integrating new technology and conducting adequate and quality research has become very much pertinent. Private sector can play an important role in improving country’s maritime research and surveys. Hence, the government should embark on a plan to involve private sector in its coastal development and management plan.