Exploring potential of blue economy

High Time to gear up combined efforts

While  addressing an international seminar entitled  “An outlook for Sustainable Maritime Development and Governance Challenges and Way Ahead” Marine experts and academics on Thursday said that by expanding its maritime research, Bangladesh can see a ‘breakthrough’ in the field of blue economy immediately by increasing its research works

Blue economy, an emerging concept that encourages better management of our ocean resources, has been identified as a key strategic and inclusive model that coastal states can adopt in order to better facilitate sustainable economic growth trajectories.

Oceans have plentiful resources that need to be tapped judiciously to make our economy grow. The bounty of nature lies in abundance but we do not have adequate survey to learn and identify maritime resources and so the country has not been able to harness the full potential of its ocean resources. It needs no emphasizing that safe and environmentally sustainable extraction of sea resources can make a remarkable contribution to the wellbeing of our future generations and sustainable economic growth. Also successful extraction of ocean resources can help the country eradicate poverty, ensure food security and generate sustainable as well as inclusive employments.

Bangladesh has successfully resolved delimitation of its maritime boundary. The country is now also financially and technically capable of exploiting its huge maritime resources. 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. In this regard, intervention of new technology and support of adequate and quality research are pertinent. If we are truly looking at the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth that could open up employment opportunities, then it is time we let the experts take the lead.

The scope of blue economy covers an array of things like fishing, oil and gas, minerals, maritime trade and shipping etc. Reportedly, about 5 years ago, Blue Economic Cell decided to conduct multi-client seismic surveys to verify the probability of acquisition of oil and gas in the larger area of the Bay of Bengal, unfortunately yet its progress has been insignificant. In this regard, an immediate need for developing an integrated coastal management system in order to explore new offshore gas reserves has emerged.